Each year August 9th marks National Book Lovers Day in the US, a holiday that encourages one’s inner-bookworm to emerge, while also celebrating the impact books have had on history.
Back in 1954, Sir Hugh Beaver and the host of a shooting party in County Wexford, UK had an inconclusive debate about the fastest game bird in Europe which lead to the development of an annual record-breaking reference book: The 'Guinness Book of World Records' (now 'Guinness World Records').
We love books here at Guinness World Records, so to celebrate this special day we’ve hit the bookshelves to bring you our favourite reading records.
Largest book published
You definitely won’t need glasses to read this book! The world’s Largest book published was an edition of the famed story “The Little Prince” and was unveiled at the XIII Biannual Book Fair of Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 2007. The book measured 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) high and 3.08 m (10 ft 1 in) wide when open, and contained 128 pages. It has maintained its record title for ten years and is one grand-scale read.
Longest line of books
Last year the record for Longest line of books was achieved by the The Short & Sweet Company of the UK and in partnership with The Wimborne Community, which hosts the Wimborne Literary Festival. Consisting of a whopping 13,410 reads, volunteers took over three hours to line books up end-to-end to obtain a record breaking 2,263.6 m (1.4 miles) of books through the town of Dorset, United Kingdom. These books were collected from donations, charity ships and local organizations, including the Wimborne branch of The Royal Air Force Association.
Smallest comic book
Our record annuals contain large books, tall books, and even tiny books – such as the world’s Smallest comic book, which measures just 2.58 x 3.7 cm (1 x 1.4 in). Written by Martin Lodewijk (Netherlands) and published in June 1999, the book is a special issue of the long-running comic Agent 327 entitled “Dossier Minimum Bug”. Only 2,000 copies of the 16-page full color comic were produced and sold, each coming with a free magnifying glass, of course.
Most parents reading to their children simultaneously
The Most parents reading to their children simultaneously is 2,479 and was achieved by Shenyang McDonald's Shenyang, Liaoning, China in 2015. Many parents gathered around a stadium to sit and read illustrated children’s books with their kids, who varied in ages. They seemed to really enjoy the quality time, proving that books have a way of bringing families together.
Smallest printed book
In this teeny-tiny 22-paged read, you’ll find pictures of the flowers of the four seasons, their names in Japanese hiragana, katakana and English transliteration, as well as names of the seasons in Chinese characters and in English. Titled “Flowers of the four seasons” the smallest printed book measures a minute 0.74 x 0.75 mm (0.0291 x 0.0295 in) and was achieved by Toppan Printing Co., Ltd Printing Museum (Japan). So far, only 149 copies have been sold of the 250 copies that were printed in 2012.
Largest reading lesson (multiple venues)
Eastbourne Area Secondary Schools achieved this record title on July 2, 2014, across eight venues and with 3,509 participants.
Longest marathon reading aloud
For this record title you have to be one passionate book lover! Deepak Sharma Bajagain (Nepal) read aloud for an astounding 113 hours 15 minutes in 2008, reciting 17 different books in the time span. Deepak managed to cover the work of 13 different authors, all without losing his voice.
Largest pop-up book
The largest pop-up book ever made measured 4 m (13 ft 1 in) by 3 m (9 ft 10 in) when closed. The book, entitled "My Word", was completed on 6 September 2010 for a television commercial advertising Pearle Opticiens (Belgium). When opened the book measured 4 m (13 ft 1 in) by 6m (19 ft 8 in) and the pop-up objects reached a height of 2.35 m (7 ft 9 in). The book was used as a prop in a television commercial organised by VVL BBDO advertising agency.
Largest book pyramid
There’s more than one way to use a book, so if you’re not reading them, you could stack them for a world record! The largest book pyramid consists of 70,247 books and was achieved by Perak State Public Library Corporation & Imagika Sdn Bhd (both Malaysia) in Ipoh, Malaysia on 26 December 2015, measuring 3 m high.
Thickest book published
HarperCollins achieved the title for the Thickest book published back in May 2009. At 322 mm (12.67 in) wide, it was unveiled in London, UK and contained all Agatha Christie's Miss Marple stories - 12 novels and 20 short stories – in the published volume. The massive read had 4,032 pages and weighed 8.04 kg. There were 68 crimes committed; 11 philandering lovers; 68 secrets and lies; 22 false accusations; 59 red-herrings and 21 romances. In all, 43 murders were solved: 12 poisonings; 6 strangulations; 2 drownings; 2 stabbings; a burning; one blow to the head; one death by an arrow and 2 people pushed. 143 cups of tea are drunk in the giant volume, and there are 66 maids and 47 garments knitted. A total of 500 copies of this limited edition, record-breaking book were produced and retailed at £1,000 each - what a page-turner!