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October 23, 2019 remove_red_eye 639

Books have inspired, educated, motivated and fascinated people for centuries. Even today, in the digital era, when you are a click away from a great book, an old book can leave you in awe.

Although most books can’t hurt your back or your bank, the books we are going to talk about today, are certainly not of the kind that can fit on your bedside stand or a bookcase.

Oversized books in all of their imposing glory, are not just fascinating because of their record-breaking height and weight, but the message they sent, that book is still the largest and most powerful tool of mankind.

If the pen is mightier than the sword, it took a hell of a big pen to create the world’s largest books.

One thing is certain, for these books 'we're gonna need a bigger bookcase’

Klencke Atlas

Klencke Atlas it’s not your average world map atlas, but a colossal behemoth measuring 1.75 meters (5 ft 9 in) tall by 1.9 meters (6 ft 3 in) wide when open. Held at the British Library, the gigantic Atlas takes its name from Johannes Klencke, Dutch sugar merchant who presented it as a coronation gift to King Charles II in 1660.

Maps were usually designed to hang on walls, but Klencke had the 41 large wall maps bound together into one impressive book. This effort paid off for Klencke. According to SmithsonianMag, King Charles, a huge map enthusiast, valued the book as one of his most prized possessions, placing it in his cabinet of curiosities in Whitehall, and he rewarded Klencke with a knightship.

The massive world atlas represents some of the finest 17th-century Dutch cartography, mainly focused on places of interest for King Charles II, like the Netherlands and Britain. Most of the maps in the book are in exceptional condition, considering their age.

According to Mental Floss for about 350 years, Klencke Atlas reigned as the world’s largest atlas, when it was surpassed in 2012 by Earth Platinum Atlas a six-foot monster larger than Klencke Atlas by a mere 30 centimeters on each side.

In 2017, British Library digitized the atlas and today it’s available online, the atlas was so heavy, it took a team of six people to carry it.

Codex Gigas

Literally translating to “giant book” Codex Gigas is the world’s largest Medieval manuscript, dating to the 13th century. Also known as ‘The Devil’s bible’, the manuscript with its 620 pages at three feet in size, has baffled and intrigued historians for ages, and not only because of its immensity.

According to Ancient Origins Dark and Mysterious legends surround the origin of the tome, one of them being that the manuscript has been handwritten by a single devil-possessed monk in Bohemia ( modern Czechia) who sold his soul to the devil.

Notorious for its unique representation of the devil, showcasing a full-page portrait of the unholiest creature, Codex Gigas contains the New and Old Testaments, as well as infamous subjects such as exorcism.

The Devil’s Bible is so outrageously large it took more than 160 animal skins to make it, measuring 36 inches (91 cm) tall, 20 inches (50.5 cm) wide, and almost nine inches (22.86 cm) thick. It weighs 165 lbs. (74.8 kg), it is so heavy it usually takes at least two people to lift it.

Codex Gigas currently resides in a dark room behind glass in the King’s Library (also called the National Library of Sweden) in Humlegården.

Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom

Roughly the dimensions of a ping-pong tabletop, “Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom,” is a gigantic 2003 photo book by Michael Hawley, the New Yorker reported. Measuring five feet by seven feet and weighing almost 133 pounds (60.3 kg), the massive tome held the prestigious title for the world’s largest book certified by the Guinness World Records until 2007.

This massive photo album consists of remarkable 40,000 pictures taken by a group of MIT students on four trips to the Asian enclave. The project was supervised by Michael Hawley, plus several Bhutanese friends of the expedition.

These images, each of them two gigabytes in size were printed in a giant format on one side on one side of five-by-100-foot rolls of archival paper. Each copy of the book requires approximately 1 US gallon (3.8 L) of ink and 24 hours to be printed. It costs a remarkable $2000 to produce this colossal work of art and it sells for $10,000.

Szinpetri Book

In a small Hungarian village, father and son using a traditional binding technique crafted one of the largest books in the world. Measuring 4.18 x 3.77 m (13.71 x 12.36 ft) and weighing 1,420 kg, Szinpetri Book was certified by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest book in 2010. However, the 346-page gigantic book held the record for only two years.

Béla Varga and Gábor Varga, both specializing in paper technology went to great lengths to create a massive book. They imported the paper from an Austrian paper mill, and the printing was done on a large scale printer used for billboard ads.

The book is so heavy it takes more than 6 people to turn one page. The book is displayed in a charming Hungarian village Szinpetri located 230km from Budapest.

'This the Prophet Mohamed'

It took a team of 50 people to construct what is now certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest book in the world. This is the Prophet Mohammed measures 5 m x 8.06 m (16.40 ft x 26.44 ft), weighs approximately 1500 kg (3,306 lb) and consists of 429 pages.

According to the Guinness World Records, it is the world’s largest, widest, heaviest, longest and most expensive book. It is also the first Arabic book featured by the Guinness World Records.

The gigantic book was unveiled in Dubai, UAE, on 27 February 2012 by Mshahed International Group, and it costs a whopping AED 11 million.

This the Prophet Mohamed' is an anthology of stories celebrating the life and achievements of Islam’s Prophet and sheds a light on the positive influence Mohamed had on humans.

It took around 300 workers and 15 scholars to make the book a reality.

The Little Prince

'All grown-ups were once children' remarked Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in one of the most beloved books of all times both by adults and children The Little Prince. Well, it took more than one grown up with a child’s imagination to create the record-breaking version of the iconic French book.

According to The Guardian, In 2007, the Guinness World Records certified a special edition of 'The Little Prince' as the largest published book in the world. The gigantic book measures extraordinary 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) high and 3.08 m (10 ft 1 in) wide when open. The heartwarming story of the stranded pilot and mysterious boy was printed on 128 pages.

The book edited by Eidouro Gráfica e Editora Ltda. in Brazil was unveiled at the XIII Biannual Book Fair of Rio de Janeiro.

World’s Largest Quran

Weighing a staggering 800 kilos (1763 pounds ) and measuring 1.5 m by 2 m, and 3 m by 2 m if unfolded, a Quran held at the Rusian city Kazan in Qolsharif Mosque has been awarded by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest holy book.

Printed on Scotland paper, containing 632 pages, this special edition of the Muslim sacred text certainly speaks volumes.

The frame cover of the holy book itself weighs 120 kilos (264 pounds). The cover is tinseled with gold and silver and embellished with precious stones including malachite, jasper and phianites.

In contrast to this gigantic holy book celebrating the love of God, it’s important to mention the world’s smallest Quran fitted on two sheets of gold, smaller than A4 paper. Same as the largest sacred book, the smallest Quran is encrusted with rubies and diamonds.

Earth Platinum

Klenke’s Atlas younger yet chubbier brother, Earth Platinum, is certified by the Guinness World Records the largest atlas since its unveiling in 2012. The 6 ft × 4.5 ft (1.8 m × 1.4 m) book was put together by a team of around 90 cartographers in a period of 4 years. It takes two people just to turn a page of this massive 150-kg (330-lb) book.

Earth Platinum contains around 30 compelling photographs, one of them holding the record for the largest photograph in the world. Created using Gigapan photography, a spread of the Shanghai skyline is comprised of 12,000 individual photos.

The project was supervised by Millennium House founder Gordon Cheers. Printed both in Italy and Hong Kong, the colossal book comes in only 31 copies.

The ‘good news’ for all map enthusiasts with a big enough bookcase is the atlas is on sale for whooping US$100,000.

Astounding Bhagavad Gita

In February 2019, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India at the ISKCON temple in New Delhi unveiled a special edition of the Bhagavad Gita. Measuring 2.80 x 2.00 meters and weighing astounding 1,750 lb, this special publication is the world’s largest edition of a scriptural text, The “Astounding Bhagavad Gita” edition was published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.

The spiritual book consists of 670 pages, fully equipped with the original 700 Sanskrit verses, and the commentary of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder and acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and 18 original full-page color illustrations.

Printed in Italy on YUPO synthetic paper, the pages of Astounding Bhagavad Gita are untearable and completely waterproof.

“This edition of the Gita will, we hope, further interest in the great wisdom traditions of India, and the knowledge contained therein,” stated Yudhistira Govinda Das, an ISKCON spokesperson. “There is a growing global interest in yoga, meditation and eastern spirituality around the world today,” he added.

The gigantic version of the spiritual book is on permanent display at the ISKCON Temple and Cultural Centre in East of Kailash in New Delhi.

Audubon’s Birds of America

When John James Audubon, bird and nature enthusiast went on a quest to hand paint life-size watercolors of North American birds in their natural habitat, people around him thought he was out of his mind. Understandably, this was the 1800s, and people were not so used to over the top things. Who’s going to have a table big enough to put this giant monstrosity, they told him. Well, after 11 years of total production, 87,000 prints done black and white and then hand-colored, Audubon proved to the naysayers that it can be done.

Measuring 39 by 26 inches (99 by 66 cm) Audubon’s Birds of America consists of 435 hand-colored life-sized prints. The rare book, fascinating not only because of its immense size, features prints of six now-extinct birds: Labrador duck, Passenger pigeon, Carolina parakeet, great auk, Pinnated grouse and Eskimo curlew.

The book is largely hailed by art historians around the world, describing Audubon's work as being of great quality and printed with "artistic finesse."

0.01% Wikipedia

Wikipedia, your favorite portal to.. Well.. everything, contains roughly around 5 million articles. It was estimated that if someone were to print the entire Wikipedia into a book, the size of the book would be equivalent to more than 2000 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

In 2012, Rob Matthews, UK based graphic design student decided to tackle this task, and converted 5000 pages of Wikipedia into a printed book. Matthews downloaded around 400 featured articles from the internet’s favorite writing assistant and bound them together in what makes a 1’7″ thick book.

Slavin Dm
October 23, 2019

Giantbook FAQs

September 25, 2019 remove_red_eye 1792

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