Books Large and Small

Our Fragile Natural Heritage by Bela Varga

How’s that for a big book? This megatome currently holds the Guinness World Record for the largest book in the world, at 4.18m by 3.77m, and weighing 1,420 kg. That’s more than my car weighs. Our Fragile Natural Heritage was built by Hungarian inventor Bela Varga with family and friends, and was completed on March 21, 2010. Its 346 pages describe natural wonders in Hungary and around the world, and is intended to raise ecological awareness. The World’s Largest Book blog has videos and descriptions of the making of the book. To install the book they had to remove the roof over the exhibition room and lower the book in with a crane. There is also a smaller version of the book, which is about the size of an atlas. I love that the cover is decorated with a fire salamander, the mascot of Aggtelek National Park, where the book is located.

Speaking of atlases, the world’s largest atlas also went on display in the spring of 2010 at the British Library. The Klencke Atlas dates from 1660, and is a svelte .95m by 1.75 m and contains 37 maps. I should say that it was the world’s largest atlas at the time; in October 2010 it was eclipsed by Earth, published by Gordon Cheers in Australia. This 2m by 3m atlas can be yours for a mere $100,000. It was created partly as a counterpoint to today’s emphasis on digital and mobile technologies. When the Kindles and iPads have long since released their toxins into the groundwater, books like these will still be here.

Just to even things out I thought I’d also post a little something on miniature books. Flickr has a Miniature Books pool that is worth checking out, and if you’d like to make your own miniature book, you can also find full instructions on Flickr. No crane required!

6 comments on “Books Large and Small

  1. Stefanie says:

    That is one big book! No one is going to be reading that in bed or in the bath!

  2. Sylvia says:

    Indeed! It doesn't need batteries, just heavy equipment to get it open and three people to turn a page. 😀

  3. theveryhungrybookworm says:

    I want that book! It would be a perfect centerpiece to my imaginary, giant library 🙂

  4. Sylvia says:

    😀 theveryhungrybookworm, I never thought of creating a giant imaginary library! I think mine will have J.S. Bach playing organ music in the background… 😉

  5. Matt says:

    Yes, this is one big book indeed! I'm familiar with miniature books but it's the first time I've come across a book as large as this one! 🙂

  6. Sylvia says:

    Matt, it's amazing, isn't it? It'll be hard to top.

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