It’s the largest published book in the world. Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom is a collection of photographs taken by MIT students in Asia, and is described as a “visual odyssey across the country.” At five feet by seven feet, six inches thick and weighing in a 133 pounds, the book sets the record as the biggest book in the world. It’s only available at Amazon and obviously, the book comes with a large price tag and a small print run. The price: $10,000, (A portion of the cost goes toward a charitable donation to Friendly Planet, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization) and it’s limited to a printing of only 500 copies.
Check out the following article about the books creation, and the resulting product. Writer Laurance Weider praises the book for its beautiful photography, but makes note of the printing limits: “I expect that when an effort is described as “pushing the limits of technology,” the results will show how far one can go with the tools at hand,” writes Weider. “It’s a poor workman blames his tools, which are only labor-savers, not labor substitutes. In the production end of picture publishing, individuals are paid to exercise taste, picky obsessions, quirks and flashes. Their concern for otherwise invisible details permits the magazine reader, the catalogue flipper, the poster-gazer, the prospective tourist or art lover, to gaze upon the simulacrum and not hear the images redrawing, the inks mixing, machine noise.”
If you would like a copy of the book, it may take a while. “Each copy is built expressly for the recipient, is numbered, and can include a personal dedication message. Because the book is produced on demand for donors, please allow for a few months for your copy to be built. Once Friendly Planet receives your donation, they will advise you of your copy number and the estimated production and shipping schedule. You will also receive instructions for tax purposes and a certificate from Guinness World Records. The ultimate charitable proceeds of your gift (the amount eligible for potential deduction for federal income tax purposes) may vary according to production costs. Amazon.com is waiving its commission related to the donations to Friendly Planet.”