How to read the newspaper for any point in time

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Delengroth 5 months ago.

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  • #16390 Reply


    Something I’ve been doing lately is using the Library to read today’s “newspaper” in a sense. It’s fun to try and compare what shows up in the book, and compare it to what actually happened in current events. The method can be used to also read newspapers from the past and future! Here’s how it goes:

    For the hex, format the current month/day/year like “m#d#y#”. Today would be “m5d31y2017” or “m05d31y2017”

    For the wall, pick the quarter of the year that the current month falls into. May is in Q2, so that would be wall #2.

    For the shelf, pick the one that corresponds to the number of the month within that quarter. May is the 1st month in Q2, so pick shelf #1. Unfortunately, this will mean that shelves #4 and #5 are always left out.

    Lastly, for the volume, pick the current day of the month. Again, book #32 will always be left out. Today is the 31st, so pick book #31.

    All together, today’s “newspaper” can be found at:

    It’d be quite interesting if one of these specific books could predict a future event. Not only would the event have been predicted, but the location would describe the exact day it would occur on, and the location can only be in a single spot – or three, depending on how you write it!

    #16414 Reply


    interesting idea. how sad it remains (with an overwhelming probability) a mere thought experiment pretty much like all of the ideas popping up here over and over again. don’t forget to inform us in the case you find something!

    #16426 Reply


    I really like this idea, but I just wish more Librarians knew of this. It could be interesting to see different illiterations of this method. Maybe organized word searching? It would make sense in the sense that if the hex name is similar to the names that were agreed upon to search with, the book would be pretty credible, given that the searchers would be in the browse option. I don’t know, still thought that the newspaper idea was cool.

    #16452 Reply


    Thanks! I realized a mistake in the number of newspapers possible. Rather than up to three, you can have from 1 to 4 newspapers. For example, Christmas will always be “m12d25…”, but the first day of the year could be:

    Still, it’s a narrow window of books to search through. And yes, while it’s still a thought experiment like any other proposals here, you can extract some meaningful information by reading between the lines, so to speak. I’ve written a guide on how to do so in another thread. You’ll just have to remember, due to the vastness of the Library, while you can find something entirely true, you can equally find complete lies buried within.

    #22608 Reply


    For anyone who actually likes using this method of reading the Library, I was bored the other day and made a script that you can use as a bookmark that will take you to the current day’s “newspaper”. Just copy the code and paste it into a new bookmark as the location/URL, then just click it to read! It will take you to the Anglishized version, to save you a click, but you can always just change the URL in the code to go to the single page version.

    #22620 Reply



    How to use your script please ? I’m a noob i know..

    #22625 Reply



    On Firefox
    1) Copy ALL of the raw code:
    2) Open your bookmarks (Ctrl + Shift + B)
    3) On the upper left, click Organize > New Bookmark…
    4) Paste it in Location
    5) Give it a name, like “Library of Babel Daily Newspaper” and save it where you want
    6) Click the Bookmark to go to the daily “newspaper”

    On Chrome
    1) Copy ALL of the raw code:
    2) Open your bookmarks (Ctrl + Shift + O)
    3) At the top, click Organize > Add Page…
    4) Paste it in URL
    5) Give it a name, like “Library of Babel Daily Newspaper” and save it where you want
    6) Click the Bookmark to go to the daily “newspaper”

    #29416 Reply


    I wasn’t going to post this, but I keep thinking about it, and so I’ve decided to do so. Whenever I’m bored, I like to browse the Library using this method. Sometimes I try to find pages with keywords that could be used in a search engine, to see if it pulls up a relevant article. A little less than a week ago, I did find a word that stood out.

    On this page, the longest word is “jimson”:

    At first, it sounded like a surname, so I tried to see if maybe there was a news article featuring someone with that name. What I found instead was a little bit surprising. I found this news article:

    Archived version:

    The article itself was posted on August 28th at 10:52 PM, and updated a few times, but lastly on August 29th at 7:12 AM. It’s about a man from Richmond, Virginia, who was walking his dog and found a poisonous plant growing on the sidewalk called “jimson weed” AKA “devil’s snare”. Sometimes I find news articles with keywords from a book in the Library, but it’s often too old to be noteworthy. This find, however, happens to be on very nearly the same date as the hex location (m08d29y2018-w3-s2-v29, page 269).

    I’m not sure if it’s too significant, but at least it’s off my conscious. Perhaps that page is a transcript of a very noisy radio broadcast, where only that one single word managed to make it through the static. At least, that’s how I like to think of it.

    #29534 Reply


    dude like what’s your point you know it’s not like a real news article

    #29535 Reply


    like it’s just a coincidence dude like why’d you spend so much time finding it

    #29543 Reply


    I didn’t spend that much time at all. Whenever I’m bored or have some spare time to kill (maybe once every couple of weeks), I just use the bookmarklet that I posted above. Also, I don’t read the book from front to back, I click the “Random Page” button instead, since the random nature of the Library scrambles everything anyway. It took all but maybe 10 minutes.

    Like I said at the start of that post, I wasn’t going to post it here — because of how insignificant the find was. The main point I wanted to get across though, was that someone (me) managed to find something using the method described in this thread, rather than faking it by using the Search feature.

    #29548 Reply


    nah dude dat’s a waste of productive time like this whole thing’s a scam dude

    #29550 Reply


    That’s fine of you to think that way, I obviously think otherwise. This is just a hobby for me anyway, so I don’t see it as a waste. What strikes me as a little bit odd is that you’re so against the Library that you’d waste your own valuable time to come here and point it out to a complete stranger.

    #29552 Reply


    dude like my time and your time are like different man. like you’ve spent years in this place you know what I’m sayin but it’s just a scam man. the library doesn’t like actually make all these books, it just like takes what you’re searching and like “finds” a place for it. 99% of the library will be lost forever from your eyes dude

    #29641 Reply


    The longest word on today’s newspaper’s front page is the word “choux,” which appeared in a The Guardian article… today! Coincidence?

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