Over two thousand years ago, The First Emperor of China, after unifying the Warring States and giving his name to the great country, ordered all books in the land be burned so that history might start with his rule. This was done.

Being the man he was however, Qin Shi Huangdi kept one copy of every book in China for his own library. And so the ten thousand things he sought to suppress persevered nonetheless.

Imagine every book in China. Like all the tea in China, that's a lot of books. Imagine every book in the world. In Qin's world this was the collection he controlled.

everybookinchina.com is a domain much smaller than the known civilized world. It is a vanity, a portal to a variety of Web sites I've constructed over the years.

In actual fact, Qin Shi Huangdi burned only those books he deemed a threat to his authoritarian reforms: books of poetry, history and philosophy. Technical books (books about medicine, agriculture, war and divination) were exempt from the proscription.

Qin Shi Huangdi's real name was Ying Zheng. "Qin Shi Huangdi" or "Ch'in Shi Huangdi" means "China's First Shining High God."

Ying Zheng was King of Qin from May 7, 247 to 220 BC, and Emperor of China from 220 to September 10, 210 BC. Qin was one of the seven warring states of Zhou dynasty China. It was located on the western edge of Chinese civilization and had a defensive wall along its northern border.

Qin Shi Huangdi's dynasty was short but highly influential. He standardized writing, currency, weights and measures, built a new national road system, expanded the empire to the south, and linked the various defensive walls in the north into a single great wall. In 1974, his city-sized mausoleum was discovered. It contained a fully equipped, life-sized terracotta army.

Lastly, Qin Shi Huangdi's library protected the suppressed texts only until the end of his dynasty four years after his death. The library was lost when the Qin capital was sacked and burned resulting in a real loss to China's historical record and to human knowledge in general.