Have you ever wondered how big the largest book ever published is? The heaviest? The smallest? I’ve always been curious about extremes and whilst browsing the internet last night decided to look through the Guinness World Records Site. The amount of Bookish records on there is amazing, so I have selected a few of the more interesting ones here for your delectation.
Grab a cuppa and a slice, sit down and browse your way through these!
‘This the Prophet Mohamed’ was unveiled by Mshahed International Group, in Dubai, UAE, on 27 February 2012, the largest book in the world measures 5 m x 8.06 m (16.40 ft x 26.44 ft), weighs approximately 1500 kg (3,306 lb) and has 429 pages.
Thickest Book (published).
Agatha Christie’s complete collected Miss Marple is the subject of the thickest published book measuring 322 mm (12.67 in) in width and was unveiled by HarperCollins in London, UK, on 20 May 2009 it contains 12 novels and 20 short stories, is 4,032 pages long and weighs a hefty 8.04 kg.
Oldest (mechanically) Printed Book.
The oldest book that was printed using mechanical printing methods is widely accepted as being the Gutenberg Bible, printed in Mainz, Germany c.1455 by Johann Henne zum Gensfleisch zur Laden. It has been widely argued that the Chinese were using mechanical printing methods earlier than this but unfortunately nothing that can be verified.
Smallest (reproduction of a) Printed Book
I cannot picture this book at all. The Guinness World Records site describes it such:
Costing an enormous $15,000 (around £10,000), the smallest book yet made is a 30 micro-tablet book carved on a pure crystalline silicon page, measuring just 70 micrometres by 100 micrometres. Etched using an ion beam at the Simon Fraser University, Canada, the book is called Teeny Ted from Turnip Town. The author of the book is Malcolm Douglas Chaplin and it was published by Robert Chaplin. The book even has its own ISBN reference, ISBN-978-1-894897-17-4, though you will need a scanning electron microscope to read a copy.
So that’s really really tiny then?
Slowest Selling Book.
David Wilkins’ translation of the New Testament from Coptic into Latin, published by Oxford University Press (OUP) in 1716 is probably the slowest selling book in history. It remained in print for 191 years selling an average of one book every 20 weeks and totalling sales of 500 copies.
Most Expensive Book (Auction)
Sold at Sotheby’s, New York, USA, for US$14.2m on November 26th 2013 the Bay Psalm Book dates from the year 1640, and is the first book ever printed in British North America. The copy sold is one of only 11 remaining copies.
Fastest Selling Book (first 24 hours)
It comes as no surprise that the fastest selling book is written by J.K Rowling; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold $8,300,000 worth of books in its first 24 hours.