Not One to Read in Bed!

This is definitely not a book to read in bed!

Weighing 1,420 kilos (3,130 lb) and measuring a ginormous 4.18 m x 3.77 m (13.71 x 12.36 ft) this colossus book needs six people and special machine to open the pages.

Not surprisingly, the book gained the Guinness World Record at the time for being the largest book in the world.

In its 364 pages, the book explores the flora, fauna, caves and architecture of Szinpetri in northern Hungary. It is here its creators, Béla Varga and his son Gábor, reside. They used traditional bookmaking techniques and upscaled them for this project.

Béla Varga, one of the book creators

In some ways, it is a global effort as parts were sourced from Sweden (wooden tables) and from as far away as Argentina (leather from thirteen cows). Paper and billboard printing was carried out in Austria.

Watermill that houses the book at Szinpetri.

Enjoy looking at this time-lapse video of its installation.

Note: I first read about this book in ‘Writing Magazine’ and learned more about it at World’s Largest Book.

Finally, I feel this post ties in perfectly with one I wrote in my early days of blogging. Then I explored the smallest books in the world and you can read this article by clicking on the link to Small, Smaller, Smallest.

104 thoughts on “Not One to Read in Bed!

  1. Wow! What an extraordinary project. Just seeing the sheer size of it makes me wonder at the wonders inside! Incredible. And yes, definitely not one to be read in bed. Thanks for sharing Annika and I hope life is well for you. xx 😍

    1. Miriam, it is amazing what individuals think up to create … and then find a way of making their dreams a reality! I now have this on my list of places to visit!

      Thank you so much, we are all well thankfully and enjoying the current hearwave! xx

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  3. Hi Annika, do you know if the pages can be turned electronically by pushing a button? It’s a big project to remove the roof to install the book and put the roof back. It’s amazing!

    1. Miriam, I too loved watching the installation of the book and if all else fails, take the roof off the building! 😀 Such care and dedication! As for turning the pages I haven’t been able to find out anything else so far … when possible I’ll just have to travel and see the book for myself!! 😀😀

  4. I’m late on my blog reading, but I think you know why, my friend. I’m fascinated by this “not to read in bed” book, but do you know what I thought first as I read your quote? Some books I read in bed are so heavy (in material or plot or drama) that I probably SHOULDN’T read it in bed 🙂 And some books are light and airy full of romance and love and family joy (of course with some suspense, but always a good ending), and I realize those are the BEST books to read in bed. ❤

    1. Pam, I’ve been thinking of you and worried … so sad to read your post today (I just left a comment there). ❤️

      I agree with you about some books are not ideal for bed-time reading … at the moment I’m reading a factual study about the assination of Olaf Palme, good but just not making me sleepy so I’ve gone with what you so aptly put: ‘light and airy full of romance and love and family joy’ for nighttime reading and saving the other for daytime!

      1. I’ve missed reading your blogs – an important connection. xo Yes, I have a ‘during the day’ book and a ‘reading in bed book.’ Otherwise, I’d never get to sleep! 🙂

  5. It’s certainly a piece of art. I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of work that went into creating. As I once said, you have an eye for beautiful and inspiring works. 🙂 Thank you for the share!

    1. Ahhh ..Khaya, bless you for your kind words! 😀 I was instantly smitten with the passion and dedication of the two men to create this and isn’t it wonderful that it became a global effort! You’re right, the amount of work must have been phenomenal and reckon there would have been lots of new tooling etc to bind the book. Isn’t it fun to see that they sorted the installation of the final book by just taking the roof off the building!

      Hope you’re keeping well and finding stillness within you during these trying times, xx

    1. Glynis, a couple of people asked the same and I always said the same: why not! 😀 I love the fun of such a project, the passion and dedication of this father and son team. Their creative thought, the global effort to realise their dream. In the end I imagine it brought tourism to the area and I for one would love to see it once travel is possible again. I’ve seen book binding done on a normal sized book and would love to witness how it was upscaled to this giant book!

      Hope you’re keeping well and bearing up under these most difficult of times. Happy Writing! 😀

      1. 😀 Okay, just to see it be done is an adequate answer.

        Life is pretty much the same for me these days. Wearing a surgical mask when in public places is a little bizarre but it’s doable. Has your life changes much?

    1. Brigid, the global collaboration helps to make the book even more special and I’m sure you’re right that it must have helped the local tourist industry. The surrounding area looks beautiful … I would love to go one day!

  6. Wow, Annika, I have never heard about this book until now. Very interesting about the global effort. I am in awe how someone would conceive of creating a book like this.

    Another Wow, on the smallest book. Again, I wonder why? The photos really help bring perspective to the size.

    Okay, another Wow. I now see what you mean by your title “Small, Smaller, Smallest.” Fun and interesting information. I will now have something new to share with my husband on our walks. Thank you! Take care. 💕

  7. How strange and wonderful this project is! Thank you so much for your post and the link to your tiny book post, too. I have often wondered what on earth motivates some people to take on tasks like this!
    I hope you and your family are alright. Did your son come home before the lockdown?

    1. Clare, I think it’s wonderful when people pursue something quirky like this … and I’m sure there’s lots of different reasons for it – maybe just for the fun of it to start with then lots of other advantages follow. I’m so glad you enjoyed both posts.

      Thank you, we are all well so far and how kind of you to remmeber about my son. Yes, he came down just before and it’s such a joy and relief to have him home. Hope you and your family are all well and bearing up. xx

      1. I also think it wonderful that people can take on these amazing projects. I wonder if it is genetic or are we all like it, just waiting for the right moment!
        Thank you, Annika; yes, we are all well and coping, though both daughters have mental health problems and naturally are feeling very stressed. We video-chat with my elder daughter every other week and talk on the phone regularly. My younger daughter is finding doing a degree from home not the easiest thing to do! My husband is a worrier but fortunately the weather has been good until this week and he has gardened and cycled. I am a ‘high-risk’ person and am on complete lock-down which means I can’t visit or care for my mother at the moment. I miss her very much but we have long chats on the phone.
        Take care, Annika! xxx

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  9. Interesting, and kind of begs the question what kind of mind dreams up such a thing! I wonder when [if?] we ever start traveling the world again, if this will be on anyone bucket list. Seems whimsical and wonderful.

    1. Ally, it’s already on my list of places to visit!! 😀😀 (I won’t contemplate there ever be an ‘if’ we can ever travel again … there just hast to be!) Just imagine talking to the creators of it, and seeing what inspired them to make this. Whimsical is definitely the word!

      Hope you and your are all well and safe, take care! xx

  10. What an amazing construction, and at least the pages turn! Not like quite a few still sitting on my shelf. There’s much can be said for the physical presence of a book and it’s very real pages. Am kindling and audibling at the moment!

    1. 😀😀 Georgina, I’m chuckling at your comment of the pages turning in this book, “Not like quite a few still sitting on my shelf’. Oh, so true for some of my books as well!

      It is amazing to learn how this was created and see it actually put in place … a bit of creative crazy energy is only good for the world!

      Yep, I’m reading A LOT on Kindle as well … so easy to buy books and since so much money is being saved by not going out I reckon I’ve been given a carte blanche to treat myself to books!

      Take care, my friend! ❤️

      1. Yes, perhaps we should have a book sharing session for best lockdown reads. Or worst! I realise why some are still sitting on my shelf! I often try to at least read the first chapters of any book bought. So important to get that right.

  11. Amazing! I’d be more likely to fall asleep on that book than reading that book. You wrote that the book gained the Guinness World Record at the time. Does that mean there’s a larger one somewhere now?

    1. 😀😀 I’m smiling at the thought of sleeping on this giant book … that would be something! Just hope nobody closes the cover!😀 Well spotted about the Guiness World Record at the time. From the magazine article I assumed it was still the current record holder but wanted to double check. It turns out a bigger book was later created in Dubai in 2012 and this still holds the record …the dreamy nature of this one in Hungary caught my imagination!

      1. Figures, Dubai. Always making things bigger than everywhere else… buildings, books, bumblebees–I mean, I assume, anyway. And yes, please don’t close the cover while I’m sleeping!! Although, what a way to go, right?

  12. How interesting, Annika, and yes, a bit too large to read in bed. 🙂 It’s amazing how people come up with things like this. Thanks for adding to our book of knowledge and hope you’re staying safe. Sending hugs, Lauren 💗🌼

    1. Lauren, as you know I’m fascinated about anything to do with books and this is one amazing feat and book fact!😀 As young, I loved to read through parts of the Guinness World Record book every year so this is also a bit of a nostalgic trip for me.

      Thank you, we are all safe and well so far; hope you and your family are well and bearing up during these most surreal of times. with much love, Annika xx ❤️

    1. Donna, I agree! 😀 I was taken immediately with this book and wanted to share about it here! I love learning so much from blogs all around the world whilst sharing the warmth of friendship! 😀🌺

    1. I imagine the father and son loving the challenge of creating the book, bringing their area onto a world map and hopefully lots of tourists to view it! I know, I would love to go one day!

      Ahh … how lovely that you remember my smallest book post. I was surprised it was so many years ago; only felt like a couple of years since I wrote it! Time, eh!!😀

  13. Wow. What a project! It’s interesting, but I can’t imagine needing to invite 6 friends over to turn each page. They’d be really annoyed by page 300. Lol. People are so creative, and a bit kooky. 😀 Thanks for making me smile this morning, Annika. Have a lovely day and be well. ❤

    1. Diana, what a terrific word, ‘kooky’ and sums up this project perfectly! 😀 Goodness knows we need lots of that slightly crazy creative energy in the world. I’m glad the post made you smile, just how I felt when reading a bit about the book and I was immediately on my computer researching and writing the post. Smiles and light in our hearts are so precious these days. Take care, my dear friend! xx ❤️

  14. Mike

    A great post as usual Annika. I don’t know how they even began to put this one together. It’s wonderful how some people are inspired to produce such amazing things like this. A very interesting read (this relates to your post, not the book as I have a feeling I won’t be doing the latter!)

    So you’ve written about the smallest and largest books – when can we expect you to complete the series with a post on the average book?


    1. Mike, it would be fascinating to learn how they managed to upscale the bookbinding process … and if I ever visit one day I’ll make sure to post about the book in much more detail!

      Haha … no, I don’t think you will be reading this anytime soon, although one blogger suggested putting the contents on Kindle and I actually this would be a good idea! Maybe we should suggest it to them?!

      I’ve looked around online and there are incredible book facts out there … although they do seem to go for the extreme so an average book post does not seem likely! 😀

    1. Bette, it’s been a delight to share here and brought me back to blogging which is a joy!😀 Hope you and your family are all well and safe in these unprecedented times. We will never take hugs from loved ones for granted ever again. xx ❤️

    1. Debby, sometimes you just need a video to really get a feel for the project. I did wonder how they placed it in the watermill … simple, take the roof off. 😀 I like the fact the video was made up from 1300 picture stills — very well done!

    1. Curt, I love how you find the slightly off-the-wall creativity as gratifying … I think we need this so much in our lives and I know it lifted my spirits to read about it! Now, this is on my list of places to visit! 😀

    1. Jan, it is a wonder to see where people’s imagination take them … and what a delight for us all! 😀 We all need a bit of crazy and fun in our lives! As soon as I saw the article I was straight on the computer, researching and preparing the post!

    1. Bless! ❤️ Thank you so much, Rebecca … that means a lot to me. I haven’t been able to blog much recently but I was very taken with this book and I too have enjoyed the ensuing discussion. Lovely to see you here. Wishing you well and keep safe, my friend! xx

    1. Exactly, Carol! 😀 I can just imagine they came up with the idea and then sat back in shock before starting to work out the logistics of its creation! Ahh .. I’m glad you enjoyed both these posts so much.

      I was very taken with your post about your trip to India today … beautifully compiled and very thought-provoking. What experiences! hugs xx❤️

  15. I’d use a dictionary as a dumb bell substitute to exercise at home but not this book, LOL. Interesting Canadian connection of the smallest book, too. Thanks Annika for sharing both. Hope you’re keeping well.

    1. Natalie, thank you so much for reading both posts and for your lovely comment! 😀 Haha … nope, reckon this book is way too heavy for any exercise but well done for using a dictionary. It’s all I can do to heft mine from the shelf to the desk! Thank you, we are all well and safe so far … wishing you and your family well too. xx

    1. 😀 How true, Barbara! Reckon it took a lot of organisation to start the project and then to create the final book! So glad you enjoyed it … it made me smile when I learnt about the book and I was keen to share here.

    1. Wouldn’t it be something to see this for real … and actually look up close at the printed pages! Fascinating indeed.

      Andrea, I hope you and your family are doing okay in these crazy days … I’ve never seen to many people out walking every day and I’m sure, like me, they find these healing and soothing. Take care and keep safe. xx

  16. Oh my word! No way would I read that one in bed…lol! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve fallen asleep while reading my Kindle. That’s painful enough when it hits your face. 🙂 I hope you and the family are well, Annika. ❤

    1. 😀😀 Jill, exactly, not a book you want to fall on one’s face! I’m intrigued by how many people it would take to turn a page!😀

      We are all okay and hope you and your family are well, Jill. I sent an email to you last week. hugs xx ❤️

      1. Definitely a lot of muscle involved! 🙂 Eek! Sorry, I just emailed you. I gave you a different address to use, as I don’t check the other account daily. I’m happy you all are well. ❤

      1. Liz, I imagine it was for the challenge and perhaps to create something unique to bring tourism into the area. I’m certainly keen to see it for real when possible to travel again.

        Thank you so much for reading and wishing you all well, Liz! 😀

        1. Creating an attraction to draw tourists to the area to support the local community makes sense to me.

          Thank you for the well-wishes, Annika! I wish you the same and look forward to your next post.

    1. Norah, or why not! 😀 I love the craftsmanship that’s gone into this, as well as being a global effort. It also became a place for tourists to visit and maybe brought much-needed income into the area? Just an idea.

      Hope you and your family are all keeping well and safe, Norah. Take care. xx

    1. Sharon, I agree, it is a stupendous project and I love how it was a family effort with worldwide help! It must be amazing to see in real life … and hopefully one day I can travel and do just that!

      Hope you and your family are all well, my friend. xx ❤️

      1. We are, thank you for asking. But missing our sons and their families, want to visit all of them and hold the grands in my arms. We FaceTime with the more distant son and their kids, and occasionally stand at the end of the sidewalk of the closer son and chat with all of them. I could deal with this more easily if I could see a healthy end with a real date, but that’s just a fairy tale right now. Hope your family is doing well and staying healthy, Annika. Which country are you in? Is your son writing music inspired by this strange moment? I bet music is a great way to find some peace and bring it to his listeners.

        1. Sharon, it is a most surreal nightmarish time and I agree, it’s even harder when we can’t see an end in sight. Normal life as we knew it is far away, I fear but I do hope it isn’t too long until families can meet up again. I feel your pain of not seeing your sons and grandchildren. It is extremely hard not to be able to hug my mother, talking quickly from afar as I deliver food … but then I realise we have it so much better than many. I live in the UK and my extreme anxiety subsided once my teenage son was safely back home from university and continuing his studies online. How sweet that you remember his music … in between uni work he is indeed playing lots of piano and recording pieces. Only the other day he has been approached by a music note company who want to pay him to use the sheet music he makes to accompany his pieces! Amazing and a very joyful moment in our strange lives. hugs xx

    1. Philip, I’ve been wondering too and so keen to see an actual page! 😀 The say the content is about the area, floral, fauna, etc so I imagine images as well? I do hope to see it for real one day!

  17. A huge thank you for this extraordinary post. I am so glad you found this gem of information
    and sought more. It proves again how the dream and passionate wish of a few can create
    an incredible – in this case – book.
    Not one to hold in your hand at bed time, one where you need six people and a machine to turn the pages. Oh, Annika, how I would love to see this wonder and the beautiful way it is
    executed. Hungary is not far away, maybe you should be a tour guide? 🤗.

    Now I dream of a travel. Have a wonderful weekend


    1. Miriam, I love how your dream of travel and this is another amazing place to visit in the world. Not too far at all once we can travel safely again … I have a desire to see this in real life too and take a gander at the pages within as well as the whole book. The surrounding countryside also looks so dreamy and idyllic.

      Thank you so much for your wonderful and thoughtful comment … learning about the book made me smile and I wanted to share this here. It is indeed a mammoth task and how true that without dream, dedication and passion this would never have been created

      Hope you’ve had a good weekend too and enjoyed the amazing weather … summer sunshine has arrived very early. Wishing you well … keep safe, my dear friend! hugs xx ❤️🌺

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