The world’s biggest book fair in Frankfurt is used to seeing some big book launches, but none came larger than a two-by-three-meter atlas unveiled last Wednesday.
Yours for a cool US$100,000, Australian publisher Gordon Cheers said that the last book even close in size to his 128-page volume was the Klencke Atlas, produced in 1660 as a gift for Charles II of England.
“But that was about one foot smaller than this,” Cheers proudly told AFP. “This is the first time a book this size has ever been seen.”
Just to turn a page takes all his strength and the book took people three hours to get into position for visitors to the Frankfurt Book Fair, which ran until yesterday.
This makes his Atlas the antithesis of this year’s book fair, which is devoted to smart, mobile content.
“It’s all about creating a legacy,” the Sydney-based publisher said. “Today, everything is digital and it’s gone in a second. This will still be around in 500 years.”
The book took around a month to produce and Cheers is limiting the print run of his monster atlas to 31. He has already sold two volumes to museums in the United Arab Emirates and is confident he will sell the whole lot.
Cheers worked for British publishing giants Penguin and then Random House, but neither firm was interested in his project, so he left to found his own company, he said.
The book contains maps of whole continents, as well as sharp images of famous sites collaged together from 1,000 individual pictures.
As far as he knows, no one else is producing books on this scale.
“I think we’re the only ones crazy enough,” quipped Cheers.
1. atlas /?atl?s/ n.
地圖集 (di4 tu2 ji2)
例: The children were told to bring their atlases to geography class.
2. volume /?v?ljum/ n.
例: The first volume of the encyclopaedia was published last year.
3. antithesis /an?t?θ?s?s/ n.
大相逕庭 (da4 xiang1 jing4 ting2)
例: Raymond’s writing style is the antithesis of his elder brother’s style.
4. legacy /?l?g?s?/ n.
傳統 (chuan2 tong3)
例: Few people would doubt that Tina has left a great journalistic legacy.