As the U.K.'s National Bookshop Day fast approaches (Saturday 6 October 2018), here are five page-turning facts about bookshops, authors, and books themselves that are sure to satisfy even the keenest of bookworms.
1. Best-selling author for fiction
The world's best-selling fiction writer is the late Dame Agatha Christie (née Miller, later Lady Mallowan, 1890–1976), whose 78 crime novels have sold an estimated 2 billion copies in 44 languages.
Agatha Christie (UK) also wrote 19 plays and, under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, six romantic novels. Royalty earnings are estimated to be worth millions per year.
Christie's play The Mousetrap also holds the record for Longest theatrical run.
The show opened at The Ambassadors Theatre in London’s West End on 25 November 1952, and had had 26,113 continuous performances as of 11 July 2015.
2. Largest book
The Largest book was unveiled by Mshahed International Group, in Dubai, UAE, on 27 February 2012.
It measures 5 m x 8.06 m (16.40 ft x 26.44 ft), weighs approximately 1500 kg (3,306 lb) and consists of 429 pages.
Over 50 people took part in the construction of the book which is entitled This the Prophet Mohamed.
The book is a compilation of stories highlighting the lifetime achievements of Islam’s Prophet as well as the influence of Islam on the international and humanitarian scenes.
3. Highest initial print run for a fiction book
Global phenomenon Harry Potter has set many records, and has even earned the author of the series, J.K. Rowling (UK), the record for First billion dollar author, in turn making her one of only five women who are self made billionaires.
The record in question was earned by Rowling most successful book ever, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which had an initial print run of 12 million copies, the biggest initial print run in history.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is also the Fastest-selling fiction book in 24 hours, shifting 8.3 million copies (or 345,833 books per hour) on its day of release in the USA, from 00:01 a.m. on 21 July 2007.
The franchise has also inspired many other non-book related records, including the Largest gathering of people dressed as Harry Potter. 997 Potter-mad primary school students from West Byford Primary School in Perth, Australia, set the record on 22 November 2017.
4. Oldest operating bookshop
Established in 1732, Bertrand bookshop, located in Lisbon, Portugal, is the world's Oldest operating bookshop.
Today, Bertrand is part of a whole nationwide book-chain of 47 other stores throughout the country. The photograph below was taken during the mid-nineteenth century.
5. Largest collection of miniature books
The largest collection of miniature books consists of 3,137 unique books and belongs to Sathar Adhoor (India). The collection was verified in Thrissur, India, on 4 June 2016. You can read about this record, and other quirky collections, in our 2019 book.
Guinness World Records 2019 is out now! It's jam-packed with incredible achievements and fantastic feats, and is bursting at the seams with facts, figures and trivia! Find out where you can buy your copy.