Books for the record books.
In 2007, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows became the fastest-selling book of fiction in 24 hours. Its author is the world’s first billion-dollar author. There are many more fun facts about bookish records—all documented by the Guinness World Records. If you want more trivia, start scrolling.
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Largest Published Book
I Am Texas is a recent addition to the Guinness World Records. It is the largest book ever published—it is 7 feet and 2 inches tall, 11 feet and 1 inch wide, and 496 pounds. Its 400 pages are a compilation of stories, artwork, and poetry on Texas by 1,000 kids. I Am Texas is a collaborative effort of the American non-profit iWRITE Literacy Organization, The Bryan Museum, and the creators of Ordinary People Change The World. All proceeds from the sales of the book go back to help fund literacy and history programs for kids.
Most Poisonous Book
Some books can kill you. Shadows From the Wall of Death is one of them. Published in 1874 in the U.S. to warn people about arsenic-based dyes that were used in wallpapers, it is the most poisonous book. Author Robert Kedzie included dangerous wallpapers that contain as much as 36 grams of arsenic (just one gram is fatal for adults if injected). Of the original 100 printed, only four have survived and have been sealed in plastic or stored in airtight containers.
Most Banned Book of the Year
And Tango Makes Three by authors Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell is a children’s book about two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who raise a baby penguin together. This beautiful tale of non-traditional families is frequently reported to the American Library Association (ALA). Parents and schools complained about the same-sex couples and homosexuality in this book and it became the most-banned book in 2008. It is also a massively popular book and has won many awards.
Bestselling Book of Non-Fiction
The Christian Bible has sold between five and seven billion copies in the last 1,500 years. The exact number can’t be determined, but this estimate comes from research by the British and Foreign Bible Society. It is the most-sold non-fiction book and there are 80 million copies printed every year.
Slowest Selling Book
From the most selling to the slowest selling: David Wilkins Translation of New Testament. The translation from Coptic to Latin was published by the Oxford University Press in 1716 and some of the 500 copies still remain in print. One is sold every 20 weeks.
Most Alternate Endings
In 2020, Wonder Crystal was published with 1,250 alternate endings! The first half of the book was written by Sybil Wettasinghe, while children across Sri Lanka contributed to the book with their own endings. These were shortlisted out of 20,000 entries. It has the record of the book with the most alternate endings.
Longest Book Title
Dr. N. Srinivasan is an assistant professor at the Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai in India. Last year, he wrote a book on techniques of stock price prediction. The title is 27,978 characters long, which makes it the longest book title. On Amazon, the title cuts off, so you’ll only get to read, “Stock price Prediction a referential approach on how to predict the stock price using simple time series…”
Smallest Comic Book Published
Would you read a comic book with a magnifying glass? One exists–it’s 1-inch by 1.4-inches. The smallest comic book was published in the Netherlands in 1999. It was a special issue of Agent 327, a Dutch comedy/action series that began as a spoof on James Bond. There were 2,000 copies printed of the 16-page comic book Dossier Minimum Bug which came with a free magnifying glass.
Bestselling Adult Coloring Book
Illustrator Johanna Basford sold over two million copies of Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book. It was first published in 2013 and made this list on May 7, 2016, so it’s currently the bestselling adult coloring book globally.
First Book Printed in English
The first book was printed in English in 1474. The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye was a gift from the Duke of Burgundy to his wife and was a property of the Duke of Northumberland until 2014 when it was auctioned for £1,082,500. It was a compilation of stories of the Trojan Wars, originally written in French and translated and printed by William Caxton (the first person to set up a printing press in England).