Earlier this year, Guinness released a free multimedia iPad app with selected records from its latest Book of World Records (now known as simply Guinness World Records). This month, however, marks its first release of a true “e-book” edition, published by its long-time print publisher Hachette Book Group.
The Guinness Book of World Records was originally developed in the 1950s by the director of Guinness Breweries, the beer company that brews the well-known stout, as an almanac for settling bar trivia disputes. It has since caught the imagination of the entire public; my librarian mother tells me that the Guinness Books are among the most popular titles with kids at her middle and high school library.
The eBook includes 288 pages of 4,000 world records, including new and updated versions, as well as classic records. The eBook will include new photos and a search function.
In recent years Guinness has trimmed its record books down and turned them into more pictorial affairs rather than lists of records. (They will still answer questions about particular records, in 4-6 weeks (or faster for a £300 (~US$450) fee, but that doesn’t help people who would simply like to browse through all of the older ones.)
Given that e-books do not have the sort of paper-based restrictions that limit the amount of material a given volume can contain, Guinness could theoretically release a “complete” world record e-book, if they so desired. It would be nice to have a “complete” world record book.