Posted on December 22, 2022 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The classic Christmas gift for someone who's been naughty is a lump of coal.

But if you want to put a specialized malicious spin on a gift for a bookworm, here are two items we've come across over the past few months that we would hate to receive.

One is more of the possible-prank variety: a book possibly encased in a block of concrete.

Atlas Obscura recounts the mystery of experimental artist Wolf Vostell’s work Betonbuch and the scientific efforts taken to determine whether it truly is a concrete-covered book.

The other worse-than-coal option for a bookworm is actually malicious.

National Geographic reported on the 19th-century books, still on some shelves (mostly in rare-book collections), that used a beautiful green dye on the cover.

Unfortunately, this pigment, known as emerald green, is laced with arsenic.

Head to National Geographic to learn more about the toxic 19th-century green-covered books

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: History, Memorabilia

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