The National Library of Scotland will be the setting for the new
display of the world's largest book, which measures 1.5 metres by 2.1
metres when open. The book, Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last
Himalayan Kingdom was published in 2003 by a team of photographers.
Given its huge size, a special stand will have to be designed and built to display the 114-page tome, which weighs 60kg. Its arrival in the Capital will see it join another previously record-breaking book in the NLS collection. Measuring just 1mm by 1mm, the Renfrewshire-published copy of the nursery rhyme Old King Cole was until very recently the tiniest book in the world. But its place in the record books has been snatched by an even smaller book, which measures only 0.1mm less in size.
The Bhutan book, published by Friendly Planet, is made up of breathtaking photographs taken during trips through the Himalayan country. In a series of four expeditions, the group took more than 40,000 photographs, with stunning images and life-size portraits depicting life in the remote Eastern paradise of mountainous panoramas and ancient architecture.
It was created by the American academic and concert pianist, Michael Hawley, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with photographers Carolyn Bess, Sandy Choi, Dorji Drukpa, Becky Hurwitz, Choki Lhamo Kaka, Gyelsey Loday, Christopher Newell, David Salesin, and Ming Zhang. Library chiefs have paid around Â£8500 for one of only a handful of copies of the book with much of the money going to charitable projects in Bhutan.
The book will go on permanent display at the library and will be free for visitors to view. Cate Newton, NLS director of collection development, said it would be a memorable experience for visitors. She said: "We are very excited about the arrival of this extraordinary book, which will join the NLS collections that represent the history of publishing. The book is not only big but beautiful, with stunning photographs of the kingdom of Bhutan.
It's perhaps appropriate that one of the subjects of the world's biggest book should be mountains. *****The sheer size of the new acquisition will be brought into sharp relief by comparing it with the smallest book in the library's collection, she added. "The National Library of Scotland also collects miniature books and owns one of the world's tiniest books, a copy of Old King Cole, which measures just 1mm by 1mm and was published right here in Scotland, in Paisley, in 1985."