Monthly Archives: October 2012

Word and book records: Felix Baumgartner, see what you started?

Small books

Is it just me, or do these books appear REALLY tiny? Image courtesy of clarita, Morguefile.

Nine days ago, Austrian skydiver and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner set a record for one of the highest jumps ever recorded. “Fearless Felix” jumped from a height of about 128,100 feet, which is about 128,096 feet higher than I’d ever like to go. (Wow. I wonder what that felt like as he was plummeting downward?)

This jump is definitely Guinness-Book-Of-Records-2013-worthy. It got me to thinking: Are there any similar records that have been created in regard to the literary world? So for your entertainment today, I assembled some fun facts related to books and writing. Enjoy!

Smallest reproduction of a printed book: Teeny Ted From Turnip Town by Canadian author Malcolm Douglas Chaplin. It measures 70 x 100 micrometers. (You need WAY more than reading glasses for this one.)

Oldest printing business: Cambridge University Press in Cambridge, England. It’s been publishing since the 1500s. (Thank you, Henry VIII.)

Shortest English-language word with all 5 vowels: Eunoia. It means “beautiful thinking” and describes a normal mental state.

Largest book: The 1,460-page stone book at Mandalay Hill, Mandalay, Myanmar. Each page is a stone tablet measuring about 5 feet tall, 3 1/2 feet wide and 5 inches thick. The book was commissioned by King Mindon in 1860 and took until 1868 to complete.

Longest book: In The Realms Of The Unreal by American author Henry Joseph Darger, Jr. It has 15,145 pages. (And I thought I had trouble getting through Vanity Fair?)

Most expensive book sold at auction: the Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci. It sold for $30.8 million to Bill Gates of Microsoft.

Sources: luxpresso.com, omg-facts.com, guinnessworldrecords.com, wikipedia.com

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