A Texas nonprofit, a publishing house, and a museum joined forces and achieved a record title that’s truly one for the books!
iWRITE Literacy Organization and The Bryan Museum teamed up with Ordinary People Change the World to break the record for the largest book published.
The giant book, I Am Texas, measures an astonishing 7 feet tall and 11 feet wide (2.1 metres tall and 3.3 metres wide) and weighs 496 pounds (224.9 kg).
The record-breaking title, which has smaller versions available, contains writing and artwork from 1,000 Texas students from the third to 12th grades.
“iWRITE’s mission is to build student confidence through writing, and The Bryan Museum’s mission is to bring Texas history to life for kids,” said iWRITE founder and board chair, Melissa Williams Murphy.
When we joined together with the Ordinary People Change the World team, our goal was to inspire kids to do something BIG and become a part of history.
The book, which contains 400 pages, was printed on a large-format UV printer.
It was a big endeavour to find a company with a printer large enough to print a cover spread that was over 11 feet (3.3 metres) wide.
Finding paper wide enough for the cover spread also proved to be difficult.
“They don’t make book boards to accommodate a book that large,” said Melissa.
We used the largest standard book board we could find. It had to be pieced together in overlapping layers to fit the size we needed.
Many of the tasks that are easily done at a printing company had to be done by hand.
A table had to be built that was large enough to hold the book during binding.
Paint rollers were also used to glue the end sheets and the pages had to be hand stitched.
“The most difficult part was binding the book,” said Melissa.
We found a company, Bella Becho Book and Print Bindery, that specialised in restoring old books and bibles. Everything had to be done by hand.
Moving the book during the binding process was difficult because of its size and weight once it was attached to the interior pages.
In fact, it took six people just to lift and flip the book over.
Between the contest, the judging process, editing, laying out the book, and then printing and binding, it took approximately eight months to create the giant edition of I Am Texas.
“The actual printing and binding took around four to five weeks,” said Melissa.
However, when including preparation and fundraising it took two years from idea conception to release.
Currently, the book is traveling throughout Texas.
“It has been in a Thanksgiving Parade in Houston, The Bryan Museum in Galveston, the Alamo in San Antonio, the Texas State Capitol in Austin, The Stark Museum in Orange, Texas, and has future stops at the Galleria Houston, Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas, and the Dallas Historical Society,” said Melissa.
“It will end up back at The Bryan Museum after the tour.”
Melissa says earning the record title for the largest book published was a great feeling of accomplishment.
“It took a lot of people, blood, sweat, and tears to make this happen plus years of preparation,” she said.
Building a book this large is expensive to do, and it is not normal in the world of book production.
Not only was the creation of the book a big undertaking, but the book signing event for all of the kid authors and illustrators involved was the largest event the organizations have ever held, with over 2,000 people in attendance.
“The entire project required mega management of partners, sponsors, parents, kids, speakers, and vendors,” said Melissa.
“Colleagues were truly impressed to see it all come together and relieved!”
Melissa says she hopes I Am Texas will bring attention to children’s literacy and Texas history.
The book is traveling all over Texas on our I Am Texas BIG Book Tour as we hope to inspire the next generation to write and have a greater appreciation for their state and what makes Texas so different and so great!
The largest book was created by Mshahed International Group (Dubai) in 2012 and measured 5 m x 8.06 m (16.40 ft x 26.44 ft), and weighed approximately 1,500 kg (3,306 lb).
This book was not published.
For the largest book published, evidence had to show that a publisher had paid for the book and that it was being sold.
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