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Books as Structural Support

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Today’s value-minded consumer wants products that exceed expectations. It isn’t enough that the television has a good picture. No, the TV also has to throw off some colored glow onto the surrounding wall. It isn’t enough that the GPS device shows the shortest route to Tifton, GA. No, the gadget also has to tell you where to stop for boiled peanuts along the way. And it’s not enough that a book provide an engrossing read. Evidently, the book most also be big enough to support the foundation of your house.

In 2004, Taschen released GOAT a tribute to Muhammad Ali that was the largest book ever published. Weighing in at 75 pounds, the 792-page text surpassed the 66-pound SUMO to break the record.

More recently, soccer fans have been able to take part in the massive madness. Manchester United Opus weighs in at over 80 pounds and was signed by Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Alex Ferguson. Kraken, the publisher of the mega-book, also has an opus for the National Football League, Formula One racing, and Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona. Gloria Books is also publishing a similar text devoted the soccer icon Pele.

Most of these books are priced in the thousands. But I could see this trend taking off to other obsessions of the affluent. Surely, a massive book dedicated to the Rolling Stones (complete with signatures of the fellas) would do well. And with the money that golfers drop on their sport, I’m certain a huge text of photos of golfing greats would be snatched up quickly. And the list of potentials goes on and on…