Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why should everyone else have all the fun?

Call for nominations: The Doorstop Prize for physically largest single-volume book.

Weight, as listed on Amazon.com will be used to determine winners.

Nominees sought in Fiction and Nonfiction. Both 2008 and all-time. Please specify title, author, publisher, and whether you have read at least 30% of the nominated book. ("Read" and "Non-read" books will be divided into separate categories.) Boxed sets will be considered multi-volume works. Single-author multiple title collections will considered, but may receive their own category.

The prize will be bragging rights, especially for the nominator of the winner in the "Read" categories.

Please make nominations by using the comments section.

Addendum, 11:51a.m.: Titles nominated must be currently in-print, as determined by "In Stock" or "Temporarily Out of Stock" status at Amazon.com. (Which is an implicit requirement anyway, since I can't make a judgment on a nominee if Amazon doesn't list a weight.) Sadly, out-of-print works are at this point excluded from consideration. (Perhaps we'll do a real "all-time" competition sometime in the future, when we'd have more time to do the research that would be necessary.)

16 comments:

Gavin said...

Fiction, all-time: "The Making of Americans," Gertrude Stein. Dalkey Archive Press. 925 pp., 2.8 lbs (paperback)

Fiction, 2008: "2666," Roberto Bolaño. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 912 pp., 2.7 lbs (hardcover)

Terry said...

May I suggest separate categories for paperback and cloth books? Otherwise, cloth would have the clear advantage.

Gavin said...

Stein, "MOA" read

Bolaño, "2666," unread

Gavin said...

Do you think that the 2008/all-time division makes more or less the hardcover/paperback distinction? Or not really?

Terry said...

I suppose it depends on whether you're considering original pub date or edition pub date. If it's original pub, you're right that the distinction become more or less moot.

Gavin said...

How about we say that the edition nominated must be currently in-print, as determined by "In Stock" or "Temporarily Out of Stock" status at Amazon.com. (Which is an implicit requirement anyway, since I can't make a judgment on a nominee if Amazon doesn't list a weight.)

So if Amazon stocks a hardcover of your nominee, go for it. If not, then you're limited to the paperback. And, sadly, out-of-print works are at this point excluded from consideration.

Also note that "2666," which is a single-volume hardcover, is also available a boxed set of three paperbacks, which as a multi-volume set, are not eligible for this competition. (The boxed set weighs 0.3 lbs less than the hardcover anyway.)

Terry said...

Non-Fiction, all-time: "God Created the Integers," Stephen Hawking, ed. Running Press. 1376 pp., 2.9 lbs (paperback)., Read.

Gavin said...

Nonfiction, all-time: "The Compact Oxford English Dictionary." Oxford. 2424 pp., 15.4 lbs. Unread.

(It's in a box, but it's a single volume. I'm willing to consider challenges to this nomination, but only when I receive other nominees.)

Gavin said...

Non-Fiction, all-time: "A New Kind of Science," Stephen Wolfram. Wolfram Media. 1192 pp., 5.6 lbs. Unread.

(A "read" nomination would take bragging-rights precedence over my "unread" nomination.)

Tim said...

There are giant hymnal books from the medieval period, designed to be read from a distance by an entire chorus, that almost certainly win the "all-time" distinction -- they take a team of people to move.

Gavin said...

Ah, but are they in-print? :-)

Jess said...

Fiction: "Don Quixote," Miguel de Cervantes (translated by Edith Grossman). Ecco. 976 pp., 3.2 lbs. (hardcover)

Oh and I read it, too!

Jess said...

Fiction: "The Tale of Genji," Murasaki Shikibu (translated by Royall Tyler). Penguin Classics. 1216 pp. 3.3 lbs. (paperback)

read!

I actually read the hardcover in Japan but it was in a box that got lost when I moved to Hawaii. Genji & Don Quixote are part of my "Read at least one epic a year" philosophy.

Doug said...

Non-Fiction, all-time: "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory," Stephen Jay Gould. Belknap Press. 1464 pp., 5.1 lbs (hardcover)

Partly read

I can't say exactly what percentage. I just remember our lab discussion group eventually grew tired of it.

Terry said...

Here's a challenge to your OED.

Non-Fiction, all-time: "GOAT: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali (Greatest of All Time)," Benedikt Taschen. Taschen Press. 780 pp., 78.6 lbs. Unread.

Gavin said...

Good call on GOAT. I'm going to add, for entertainment value, the list price: $4,500.

I have not read the book, but I have browsed an actual copy.