As of 2002, the book “Chameleon” by A.P. was considered the smallest in the world. Chekhov size 0.9 x 0.9 mm. It contains 30 pages with 11 lines of text on each, 3 color illustrations. The book was printed and bound in 1996 in Kyiv.
Later, thanks to the rapid development of nanotechnology, physicists from Canada created a book with a size of 0.07 x 0.1 mm. It is called “Teeny Ted from Turnip Town”. The book consists of 30 ceramic microplates used instead of paper, and a focused beam of helium ions (7 nanometers in diameter) is used instead of ink. And to read it, you need an electron microscope capable of 8,000 times magnification.
Previously, the largest book in the world was considered the “Superbook”, the dimensions of which were 2.74 x 3.07 meters. The weight of this book is 252.6 kg and it has 300 pages. “Superbook” was published in Denver (Colorado, USA) in 1976. However, in 2004, a book called “The World’s Largest Book for Babies” was published in Russia. And although it has only 4 pages and 12 poems for children, this book has truly significant dimensions. The height of the book is 6 meters, the width is 3 meters, and the weight of this giant book is 492 kg.
The most expensive book owned by the state is considered to be the unique “Apocalypse”, published by the Frenchman Joseph Fauré. It is estimated at 100 million old francs, exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.
The most expensive book in private hands is the so-called “Leicester Codex”. Its other name is “Treatise on Water, Earth and Heavenly Bodies”, created by Leonardo da Vinci. In 1994, it was bought by the famous founder of the Microsoft company Bill Gates for 24 million dollars. The book is a collection of thoughts, findings and conclusions of Leonardo da Vinci Vinci on various topics The book itself is only 18 pages of parchment glued together, and you can read such a book only with the help of a mirror.
Twelve of the world’s smallest books fit in one tablespoon. These include a miniature edition of the Koran, a 12,000-word English dictionary and the French Constitution.
Shorthand, with which any text can be written down five times faster than with the usual alphabet, was invented in 63 BC by a slave named Tiro, who belonged to Cicero.
“The only and deepest secrets of the medical art” – this was the name of the book found sealed among the belongings of the famous Dutch doctor Herman Boerhave after his death in 1738. The book was sold at auction for 10,000 dollars in gold. After the seal was opened, it turned out that its pages were clean. Only on the title page was written: “Keep your head in the cold, your feet in the heat, and you will make a pauper of the best doctor.”
One of the most unusual books in the world – Dante’s “Divine Comedy” – was written on a sheet of paper measuring 80 x 60 cm by the monk Gabriel Celani. It contains 14,000 verses. If you look at the letter from a distance, you can see a colorful map of Italy. Chelani spent four years on this work.
The thickest printed book in the world is WIKIPEDIA. It is a collection of articles from the Internet that her book lover Rob Matthews decided to print in one volume. Thus, the paper version of this booklet totaled 5,000 pages.
The famous computer engineer and entrepreneur Brewster Keil is going to open the world’s first archive of all printed books in Britain. He set himself this goal a few years after creating in 1996 the first Internet archive of all pages ever published on the Internet.
Why is it important to read books?
Now is the time to finish reading a book that has been lying in a drawer for so long, watch an interesting movie for which there was not enough time, or hone your culinary skills.
In fact, people read a lot these days – countless messages, a non-stop news feed, favorite blogs on the Internet… But nothing can replace books. It is unnecessary to talk about the benefits of reading books in the 21st century, but we will mention the American expert Jordyn Cormier, who singles out four undoubted benefits of reading books:
Reading books stimulates a person’s mental activity, improves memory and increases creative potential. The book can inspire you to create projects, ideas or gain any other valuable experience.
Reading helps to expand the vocabulary and increase the intellectual level. Feeling competent in various matters, a person becomes more confident in his abilities and prepared for any life challenges.
Reading books develops social skills and the ability to empathize. Plunging into unfamiliar situations and getting to know different characters on the pages of books, a person expands the scope of his own views and begins to better understand other people.
Reading is a kind of relaxation that helps fight stress and bad mood. The book can simultaneously activate thinking, and relax, distract from problems. Also, reading is a great way of psychological rejuvenation.
The most famous book museums in the world
Over the centuries, books have been constantly improved, which is why there are many museums in the world, the exhibits of which are books.
The oldest book museum in the world was opened in 1877 in Antwerp, in the premises of the famous 16th century printer. Christoph Plantin. The exhibition was dedicated to the life and work of Peter Paul Rubens, an artist who created more than 50 engraved letters and illustrations for this printing house.
In 1884, the German Book and Type Museum was founded.
In 1900, the Gutenberg Museums were founded in Mainz and Bern (Switzerland).
In 1914, the Book Museum was founded in Brussels (Belgium).
In 1938 – the Museum at the Institute of Book Pathology in Rome (Italy).
In 1938 – the Museum of Children’s Books in Warsaw (Poland).
In 1964 – the Book Printing Museum in Lyon (France).
The oldest book museum in Russia is the Book Museum at the State Library of Russia in Moscow, which was opened in 1925.
In Ukraine – the State Museum of Books and Printing of Ukraine in Kyiv, founded in 1972.
Book and Printing Museum of Ukraine (Kyiv)
It is located on the territory of the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Reserve in the building of the former Lavra printing house, founded by Archimandrite Elisey Pletenetsky.
The museum has collected rich treasures of the book culture of the Ukrainian people (about 56,000 items of storage). The exposition covers the history of the domestic book and the book industry from the time of Kyivan Rus to the present day; tells about the creation of writing among the Eastern Slavs, about the manuscript book of the 10th-16th centuries, about the birth of printing in Europe, the beginning and development of Cyrillic book printing, about the publishing activity of Ivan Fedorov and about other outstanding creators of Ukrainian books of the 16th-18th centuries.
Museum of Modern International Book Art, Book Printing and Calligraphy (Offenbach, Germany)
For the first time, the doors of this museum opened for visitors on November 7, 1953. It was a small museum dedicated to the art of modern printing and book design. The basis of the museum exhibition was a significant collection collected by the honorary doctor of sciences Karl Klingspor (1868-1950), who in the first half of the 20th century. was a co-owner of a type foundry in Offenbach.
Soon after the creation of the museum, the first generous donations began to flow into its funds, and the small museum became a center of modern printing art.
The Klingspor Museum in Offenbach has the largest collection of works by the outstanding Dutch printer and typewriter Hendrik Nicolas Werkman (1882-1945) after Holland.
The museum collection includes illustrated books, hand-printed editions, books about painting, about artists, about fonts, and about calligraphy.
The most valuable of the museum’s exhibits is a collection of 100 books bound in leather by Ignatius Wemler.
The museum in Offenbach attracts admirers of modern book and printing art from all over the world.
Museum of Miniature Books (Baku, Azerbaijan)
This is the only miniature book museum in the world. It is located in the old part of the city of Baku, called “Icheri Sheher”.
Began to function on April 2, 2002. The exhibits displayed in the museum were collected by Zarifa’s sister Taira Salahova for almost 30 years. her personal collection is 6,500 books from 64 countries. The museum exhibits miniature books of works by famous Azerbaijani classics, such as Vagif, Khurshidbanu Natavai, Nizami Ganjavi, Nasimi, Fizuli, Vurgun Samed, Mirza Fatali Akhundov and others.
Interesting to know that…
November 9 – Guinness Book of Records Day. This day began to be celebrated only in 2005, when the 100 millionth copy was sold. The record book was created by British engineer and brewery owner Hugh Beaver. In November 1951, he went hunting with his friends. In the evening, a dispute arose between the men about which of the wild birds was the fastest. The men looked through several reference books, but did not find the answer. Beaver then decided to create a book in which all the records would be collected. Today, the Guinness Book of Records is the book with the largest circulation of any book protected by copyright.
It is difficult to say what motivated the creation of the Book of Records of Ukraine, but in 2002 a book with that name was published. Its author – Heorhiy Matsenko – managed to collect a lot of ordinary and unusual, but interesting and surprising facts about everything “the best” in Ukraine.
- The oldest was the library of Yaroslav the Wise – the first library of Kyivan Rus. The time of its foundation is unknown. It was mentioned for the first time in 1037. Paying tribute to Yaroslav the Wise, the chronicler, after telling about the benefits of books, which “are rivers that fill the universe,” says that “Yaroslavl was a man of arms, loved books, wrote a lot and put them in the church of St. Sophia “. This is the end of the chronicle sources about the first library of Kyivan Rus. Her further fate is unknown.
- The oldest active library is the scientific library of the Ivan Franko Lviv National University, founded in 1608 under the Jesuit college. But scientists consider the age of this unique collection of books to be significantly underestimated, because it was based on publications from reformed monastery libraries, the chronology of which begins with the 15th century.
- The most durable textbook. In 1618, the language textbook “Slavenska Grammar…” was published for the first time, created by the Ukrainian polemic writer Meletii Smotrytskyi, which was the only language textbook for a long time. Students of Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian schools have been studying this “Grammar…” for almost 150 years.
- The shortest title of the book. In 1968, the Kyiv publishing house “Rainbow” published the Ukrainian folk tale “Ho” as a separate book, with a volume of 20 pages.
The longest book title. In 1798, in Mykolaiv, at the Black Sea Admiralty Printing House, a 353-page book by P. M. Zakhar’in “New Synopsis, or a Brief Description of the Origin of the Slavic Russian People, the Sovereignty of All-Russian Sovereigns in Novy Horoda, Kyiv, Vladimir and Moscow, was published. with a detailed account of the defeat of the terrible Tatar army of the general Mamai by Dmitry Ioanovych, Grand Duke of Moscow and about the great princes and tsars who followed him, before the accession to the throne of Emperor Peter the Great, collected from different novelists and supplemented by Lieutenant Peter Zakharyn.” 60 words! As for our time, in 1997, a book with a volume of 110 pages was published in Kyiv entitled “Typical standards of time and output for the main types of work with management documentation and documents of special origin on paper media, performed by state archival institutions.” 24 words!
- The most multi-page book. In 1998, the Kyiv information and publishing center “Spectr” released the directory “Ukraine – 98: industrial resources” with data on 67,000 enterprises, their services and products. The edition has 1094 pages. However, this is still not a record. In 1999, the Lviv publishing house “Kamenyar” published the book “Kyiv Church in the Diaspora (1751-1988)” by Dmytro Blazheyovsky, with a volume of 1,335 pages. However, the Kyiv publishing house “Iryna” surpassed everyone, where the universal dictionary-encyclopedia “Use” saw the light of day – 1552 pages!
- The heaviest old print. In the exposition of the State Museum of Books and Printing in Kyiv, you can see the “Gospel”, printed in Moscow in 1689 in a format of 64x40x11 cm. The book has 620 pages, a gilded frame with embossed labels on a gold background. It weighs 21.5 kg.
- Artisans of many countries have created a number of over-miniature books, but the “Kobzar” book, created by the Ukrainian master M. Syadristy, is the smallest in the world: its area is 0.6 square meters. mm This is almost 20 times smaller than the smallest Japanese book. Despite the microscopic size, the architecture of the poems is not disturbed anywhere on the pages of “Kobzar”, there is not a single line transfer. The average thickness of the letters is 0.0035 mm. The book has 12 pages, each with 8 verses. Two pages with illustrations: a portrait of Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko and a copy of the painting “Batkivska huta”. The pages are so thin that you can turn them with just the tip of a hair. The book is sewn with cobwebs, and the cover is made of an immortelle petal. Only one book can be compared to this book, created by the Ukrainian craftsman M. Maslyuk: it is a collection of O. Pushkin’s poems with a size of 0.8×0.4×0.2 mm and a volume of 0.064 cubic meters. mm And this means that more than 15 (!) such books would fit in one poppy seed. The cover of the book is made of gold, the portrait of the poet is engraved on its front side.
Interesting moments from the life of world libraries:
- The local authorities of Madrid have opened so-called BiblioMetro branches at eight metro stations. These are small kiosks that resemble libraries. There are about 500 books in each. The traveler can come up and choose one from the list, and then use it for free for up to 15 days.
- In Japan, a robot was created that makes it possible to read books without entering the library. It resembles a 50 by 45 cm box on wheels, equipped with a digital video camera and a special mechanical arm. It is managed via the Internet. The machine is able to select a book and use its mechanical fingers to turn the pages, transmitting the content to the user’s display. The robot was created for people who do not have time to go to the library. Also, its advantage is that it can “serve” readers even at night.
- A person instead of an encyclopedia – this is how you can describe the new service of one of the Dutch libraries. Anyone who is interested in culture or customs, for example, Muslims, Gypsies, can rent a “living encyclopedia” – a representative of one or another people – for money for an hour and thus get the necessary information.
- There is a hotel “Library” in the center of New York, designed specifically for book lovers. There are more than six thousand books in the rooms. When ordering a room, you need to specify the cipher according to the library and bibliographic catalog, thanks to which the staff will prepare a selection of relevant literature especially for the visitor.
- Residents of the British village of Westbury-sub-Mendip turned a telephone booth into the world’s smallest library. It works around the clock. The principle of operation is simple – visitors put an already read book on the shelf and take a new one.
- There are 197 library buses in Finland. During the day, they visit schools, kindergartens, hospitals, homes for the elderly, as well as those who find it difficult to leave the house for a long time. The internal filling of books of the bibliobus changes depending on the type of social group that it has to visit.
Interesting facts about books
The history of the book originates from the times when, having created writing, mankind began to look for ways to materialize their thoughts, to pass on to the next generations the knowledge and experience accumulated over centuries.
Before the invention of printing by Johann Gutenberg (1400 – 1468), books were handwritten, for example, a scroll book with the text of Homer’s “Iliad”, about … 150 meters long.
In the library of the Indian city of Adyar, there are hundreds of books written on sheets made of palm leaves. Pages of books were decorated with gold, precious stones…
Among the ancient Mongolian and Tibetan books are real manuscripts, the texts of which were written in a mixture of gold, silver, coral, pearls, turquoise, glaze, mother-of-pearl, steel and copper. There are also books with texts embroidered on silk and sapian with multi-colored threads… without a single knot.
Another unique book, the pages of which are made of silver, and the letters are “written” in gold. More than 50 kilograms of gold and about 600 kilograms of silver were spent on the production of such a jewelry masterpiece.
Nowadays, a “metal book” has appeared. It was made by blacksmith Kostov from the Bulgarian city of Vratsa. The book, whose 22 pages are made of… iron, weighs about 4 kilograms, although its usual dimensions are 18 by 22 centimeters.
There are real giants among books. So, one of the thickest novels should probably be considered “Clarissa” – a novel by the English writer Samuel Richardson. It contains 984,870 words, almost 200,000 words more than the Bible. The novel was published in the middle of the 18th century.
But the prize for creating such a novel belongs to a Japanese writer of the 19th century. The author worked on it for 40 years. The novel consists of 100 volumes with a thousand pages each, the weight of one copy is 60 kilograms. There are almost 32 million words in the novel.
No less interesting is the “Devil’s Gospel”, which is kept in the royal library in Stockholm. Its cover is made of oak boards 4 centimeters thick, and the book is decorated with massive wrought iron clasps. More than 100 goat skins were used to make the parchment pages.
With the edition of “History of the Southern Hemisphere”, which was printed in the USA, it is possible to get acquainted only with the help of a special engine, because it weighs 225 kilograms, in the unfolded form its width is equal to 2 meters 70 centimeters, and its height is 2 meters.
An ancient chronicle is carved on the walls of the temple in Thebes. The walls of the temple are a kind of book, the largest in the world in terms of its dimensions, as its stone “pages” reach forty meters in width.
But the fashion for so-called miniature books arose at the end of the 18th century, thanks to the whims of Marie Antoinette, who wanted to carry her favorite books in a glove. However, long before that, attempts were made to produce such original editions. Their progenitor can be considered an ancient handwritten miniature book, which is kept in Yerevan’s Matenadaran Book Depository. Its weight is only 19 grams.
One of the largest libraries in the world is the US National Library of Congress. It was founded in 1800. Its book collection includes 40 million copies.
The smallest book was published in 1896 in the Italian city of Padua, and its size is 16 mm by 11 mm, which is about the size of a thumb nail. A letter from Galileo Galilei is printed in this book.
The largest library in Ukraine is the National Library of Ukraine named after V.I. Vernadskyi. It was founded in 1714.