2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Is it possible to imagine humanity without a book, although it has lived without it for most of its existence? Perhaps not, just as it is impossible to imagine the history of everything that exists without secret knowledge preserved in writing. And the allegations that the book in the modern world has lost its significance and may soon go into oblivion are only partly justified. One cannot argue with the fact that information today has acquired a digital format, and books are gradually moving into the virtual world, as if through a looking glass. And yet they live, are written and published, bought and sold, and even become the subject of all sorts of ratings. For example, like the most unusual books in the world.
Everyone has their own best book
It sounds strange: "What is the best book in the world?" The question is at least rhetorical, because it is possible to give such an assessment only on the basis of the subjective opinions of millions of people. And for each, this indicator is purely his own. In addition, each time has its heroes and its books. And therefore it is better to approach the issue with slightly different standards - to measure the quality of creation is notcontent and readers' love for it, but the frequency of reprints and total circulation.
And if so, don't the eternal scriptures - the Bible, the Koran - deserve the title of "The best book in the world"? It is known that, for example, the circulation of the Bible over the millennia of its existence amounted to 6 trillion. It is clear that this is only an approximate figure, because everything began with handwritten lists.
900 billion - this is the circulation of the quote book of the Great Pilot - Mao Tse Tung. Of course, there are a huge number of people in the world who will put this book at the top of the "Best-Best-Best Book in the World" rating.
And from modern works, all records of popularity are beaten by the notorious "Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien. Here circulation exceeds 100 billion copies.
There are many different ratings in which an attempt is made to determine what is the best book in the world - TOP-10, TOP-100 … And among the most extensive descriptions, it is always nice to see that people who read still consider the leaders to be eternal creations - "The Master and Margarita" by M. Bulgakov, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by G. G. Marquez, "The Count of Monte Cristo" by A. Dumas.
About the most subjective
Who would ever ask what are the most interesting books in the world? But it comes, and polls on this topic are always read with interest, because there is no more subjective concept than taste. No two people can answer this question in the same way. So, according to one of the numerous polls, the title of the most interesting book was awarded to the latest bestseller of the Britishwriters E. L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed trilogy. Still, in the year of the publication of the first part, in 2012, 15 million copies were sold in just three months! Meanwhile, the real connoisseurs of literature were not impressed by the book, moreover, it was recognized as cheap pornography. It's about tastes.
So, the most interesting books in the world. Will the reader allow the author of the article to offer his (purely subjective) rating?
In childhood, the most interesting were fairy tales and stories about animals. Then Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe became his favorite book. Next - "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Dumas and "Notre Dame Cathedral" by Victor Hugo. And "The Cunning Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha" - how was it not to love him? And who knew then that this book was second only to the Bible in circulation?
In high school, to the delight of a literature teacher, a comprehensive love for Dostoevsky's books began - "The Brothers Karamazov", "Crime and Punishment".
The student years brought new names and new discoveries. William Faulkner, "The Sound and the Fury" - it was the shock of the world. Then the novels of the century were opened (they remained so) - One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. The Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov was read and reread in a new way. And quite unexpectedly captured forever the philosophical works of Friedrich Nietzsche, and much fell into place. The novel "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" is still a reference book today.
Modern literature continues to amaze no less. Favoritebooks - every letter written by Fazil Iskander (who has not read it, he can consider himself deprived), all the works of Haruki (not Ryu) Murakami. And on the train or on the plane - light ironic reading by Daria Dontsova. Such books are also needed, for example, Notes of a Mad Optimist.
The list is endless. For every reading person is infinite. And for the non-reader, it never started.
Sales are everything
Circulations by default imply popularity, and therefore, the saleability of the creation. And yet it is worthwhile to be curious: what is the best-selling book in the world? Sacred are beyond competition - they don't even need ratings. Today it is known that the Bible surpasses all publications on the planet: the daily circulation is 32876. Another thing is that the Holy Scripture is not for sale - in theory it should be distributed free of charge to all believers.
What about secular publications? Ironically, in the Guinness Book of Records, the first place in sales should be taken by … the Guinness Book of Records! It has been translated into 52 languages of the world, and its sales have long exceeded the mark of 450 million copies.
Next comes, albeit by a wide margin, a book from the English classic, Charles Dickens's historical novel A Tale of Two Cities. Since its publication in the middle of the 19th century, according to approximate data, at least 200 million copies have been sold. Dickens is not a historiographer, and his only historical work on the French Revolution made a splash in many countries of the world. Just not in the USSR. The thing is, it's too realistic.the depiction of the revolutionary process did not correspond to the communist ideology, and the book was simply blocked from reaching the general reader.
Next, the world bestseller sales ranking looks like this:
- John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.
- Cao Xueqin, Dream in the Red Chamber.
- Agatha Christie, Ten Little Indians.
The bestseller list also includes such masterpieces as The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
The most famous books - what are they?
Fame of a book is not always measured by sales. Rather, the indicator is different: if a work has survived the centuries, translated into many languages and remains as relevant as after the first edition, this is fame.
And again the undisputed leaders are the sacred books - the Bible, the Koran, the Torah. These are the most read, the most cited, the most revered publications. In a word, each of them is the most-most-most book in the world. However, it does not make sense to say that it is out of competition.
Enthusiasts attempted to find out what is the most famous book in the world. But since there can be no unambiguous answer by definition, it was decided to rank the hundred most famous. Many will be surprised by the fact that it is headed by Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, the most textbook work in Russian literature. In second place is the novel "1984" by George Orwell. On the third - "Ulysses" by James Joyce. Followed by "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov and "The Sound and Fury" by WilliamFaulkner. Winston Churchill's book "The Second World War" closes the hundred.
Size matters for record breaking book
The British National Library exhibits during exhibitions the world's largest book, included in the Guinness Book of Records. This little book is 180 cm tall. Actually, this is not even a book, but a collection of printed wall maps in the amount of 37 pieces and dimensions of 1.9x1.75 m. The publication was prepared in 1660 for King Charles II.
What is this world's largest book about? These sheets show more than just maps. They contain the most complete body of knowledge about the world that existed at that time. Of course, to the best of the understanding of the compilers of these priceless maps. So in any case, a unique publication should have been included in the Guinness book, if not by gigantic size, then by saturation with information, for example, as the smartest book in the world.
This record is challenged by another book published in 1976 in Denver (USA). It's called "Superbook". Its dimensions are 3.07 m high, 2.74 m wide. The number of pages is not so impressive - 300. But the book weighs 252.6 kg.
And here is 2004. The record for the world's largest book has been put to shame. All the more pleasant that it happened in Russia. “The biggest book for kids”, published by Ying publishing house, is all the more unique because it consists of only… four pages! There are 12 poems on these pages. But the book weighs 492 kilograms, rises to 6 meters, and has a width of 3 meters.
Of course, a book for babiesnot made on a conventional printing press. First, a wooden slipway was made, then the pages were glued together using a special technology. This miracle was brought to the children's book exhibition in Moscow on a construction panel truck!
Several unique publications claim the title of "The smallest book in the world" at once. So far, the Russian left-hander, Sergey Konenko from Omsk, has held the palm. In 1996, he published a thirty-page book 0.9 x 0.9 mm in size, which included Chekhov's story "Chameleon". But now there was a real threat to his record. In Japan, there is the Toppan Publishing House, which has been specializing in publishing original books for 40 years, since 1964. A 22-page miniature book with dimensions of 0.70.7 mm was published here. It's called "Flowers of the Four Seasons" ("Shiki no Kusabana") and features monochrome illustrations of Japan's most beautiful flowers. It is not possible to see them or read the text even with glasses. The Japanese found a way out: those who wish can purchase it for $300 in a more affordable scale and with a magnifying glass to boot. And for those who would like to imagine what the smallest book in the world is in reality, the inventors have distributed photographs of it next to the eye of a needle. The scale is impressive.
This is just the case when old age decorates. Especially when it comes to a book. In the ranking of the oldest publications, as in any other, there is no unanimity. Contrary to expectations, the oldest book in the world is not the Bible. Holy Bibleappeared in printed form only in the 15th century.
The very first printed edition is five thousand years old. These are clay tablets. True, it is difficult to call them a book, like the ancient Egyptian papyri. Each nation has its own ancient book and its own material for writing. For example, long before the invention of paper, the ancient Chinese used bamboo to store written information.
Another example. The Museum of History in Bulgaria houses the Golden Book of the Etruscans. It was found by archaeologists during excavations of ancient tombs and presented to the museum. An examination showed that it is genuine, and its age is at least two and a half years. The book is actually gold: its leaves are made of thin gold plates fastened like a notebook. It contains drawings and engraved text in Etruscan. By the way, it has not yet been deciphered. Whether this rarity is considered a book is also a question: after all, this is not a printed publication in the traditional sense.
In this case, seniority should be given to another book - a collection of sermons of ancient Korean Buddhist monks "Chikchi". It was printed in movable type within the walls of Hyndoks Monastery in the 14th century.
All this was before the era of printing. With the invention of the printing press, a new era began. What was the first real book? In the middle of the 15th century, the German inventor Gutenberg printed the first Bible. No more than three dozen copies of the publication have survived in the world. Today it is not only one of the most ancient, but also the most expensive book. In 1987year at Christie's auction it was bought for $5 million.
Of course, this is only selective knowledge, but by no means the final answer to the question. Times are changing, finds are multiplying, and research methods are becoming more perfect. So, we can assume that the oldest book in the world has not yet been found.
The beauty of a book is essential?
The question of what is the world's largest book can cause curiosity. But another question - about the most beautiful edition - is perceived with some bewilderment. Although why not, if there is a rating of "The most terrible book in the world"? And yet, is it possible to rank book products by the brightness of the binding, pictures, inlays? It turns out you can. And there is even such a rating - "The most beautiful book in the world." It is headed by a folio dedicated to the great Michelangelo. On the pages of thin gold plates are his biography, his works, as well as the works of his teachers and other ministers of the muses, whom the artist especially favored. The size of the book is also impressive - 24 kg, not counting the massive wooden case in which this rare edition is stored. It is really rare - it was released in a collector's edition of 99 copies, and its cost is 135 thousand dollars. For a real collector, this is perhaps not only beautiful, but also the best book in the world.
The beauty of this edition rivals books designed by Canadian book illustrator and designer Marian Bantjes. The artist herself considers each designed editionbeauty manifesto.
Fat is a compliment
But in terms of thickness, among books there is no equal to the set of norms and rules according to which unemployment benefits are assigned. The idea of its creation belongs to the Danish insurance fund "Min A-Casse". 23,675 pages in a single binding - these are the dimensions of this tome. The question is, why did it take to publish such a bulky edition, if not to set a record in the nomination "The thickest book in the world"? It turns out that the authors of the idea just wanted to demonstrate to the whole world how bureaucratic the insurance system in Europe is. For comparison, they cite the following figures: 50 years ago, the entire volume of legislation for obtaining unemployment benefits was placed on 421 pages. There is a difference.
The longest book in the world - the one you read for a long time?
This is, of course, an attempt at a joke. In fact, if the book is "long", you can't finish it in any way, you put it off and start again. We are not talking about such “masterpieces”. Truly voluminous works that claim to be the "Longest Book in the World" exist in nature. Moreover, measured both in length in the physical sense, and in terms of the volume of printed text. In the first case, the record holder is a giant scroll, containing only eleven tales, but having a length of 1856 meters. This is a collective work of the inhabitants of the Italian city of Castello.
But the longest book, consisting of 27 volumes and numbering more than two million words, was written by the French writer Jules Romain. And the novel "People of Good Will" was written inrecord long terms - from 1932 to 1946. The page index barely fits into 50 pages!
In a cruel twist of fate, this long and, in its own way, the largest book in the world has not been appreciated. The novel about the crisis for France and the whole world of the era of the early twentieth century, according to critics, contained many distortions of historical truth. And no discounts were made on the author's right to fiction, and even more so on the unprecedented volume of Romain's creation.
Everyone has their own horror story
Scared? Don't read. Simple question, simple answer. But there are real fans of horror. You can even guess that they are the majority - a little psychological shake-up can be useful, like extreme sports.
Another thing is that everyone has their own answer to the question of what is the scariest book in the world. Stephen King's books have a lot of chances for first place in this rating: "It", "Flying in the Night", "Children of the Corn" - you can not continue, because this author simply specializes in the horror story genre. And film adaptations most often correspond to the printed counterpart in terms of the level of adrenaline thrown out.
Many of our compatriots, especially adults, will call the immortal creation of N. V. Gogol "Viy". Several decades ago, its adaptation was the only horror film in the country. Many were forced to cower in fear by the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle - "The Hound of the Baskervilles", "The Motley Ribbon". The books of Edgar Allan Poe were no less striking in their gloominess, recalling at least The Fall of the House of Usher. From the same galaxy of authors - Oscar Wildewith his amazing The Picture of Dorian Gray.
It should be noted that the authors of the 18th and 19th centuries were not fond of horror in the modern sense, but rather mysticism. The unknown is always scary. Today's horror stories are much more transparent - blood, knives, piranhas, mutants. Sharks at the very least. They scare no less, but you don’t always want to read and watch.
The wonderful world of books presented and continues to present incredible surprises to book lovers. Perhaps soon readers will become participants in a new poll, for example, about what is the smartest book in the world, or think about the question of the most beloved, most useful, or, conversely, unnecessary publication.
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