Monday, December 13, 2010

The Guinness World Records - how one ebook can save printing 1.15 billion pages a year?

I read some good news for the environment today: Chris Meadows reported on TeleRead that Guinness World Records was just published in an e-book edition, including "288 pages of 4,000 world records, including new and updated versions, as well as classic records."

Why it's good news for the environment? Because no matter how uncertain we are about the greenness of e-books (and we still are), there are some books that should be transformed to e-book format no matter what. Guinness World Records is one of them.

Now, don't get me wrong. I loved this book when I was a kid, but I'm not sure how many people still open the book to find information on these records at the age of the Internet. According to "Over 100 million copies have sold since the first edition was published in 1955. Nearly 4 million copies are sold every year in more than 100 countries and in 25 languages."

Quick calculation brings me to 1.15 billion pages that were printed for this book in 2010 alone. That's a lot of trees as well, which can be saved if this information will be available electronically. It's not just the fact that it's a thick book that makes it a good candidate for e-book format, it's also and mainly the fact that it's updated every year. In such situations, I believe that with the exception of libraries, it's a win-win-win for the consumers, the publisher and the environment to have this book only available as an ebook.

The eBook edition is published by Hachette Book Group, which also distributes the print edition.
Samantha Fay
, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Guinness World Records had this statement quoted on eBookNewser: “We are all excited at Guinness World Records to debut our first eBook in North America. We have watched the rise of the eBook market with interest, and in Hachette found the perfect partner to faithfully convert our complex and inspiring title so the 2011 Edition can be enjoyed for the first time in digital form.”

Well, I hope that we'll have many more years of interesting records, such as the longest banner flown by a helicopter (4,166.72 m²), collected by Guinness World Records and provided to us electronically with a new record of trees cut down to print the Guinness World Records - zero.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!


Thomas Hansen said...

Not knowing the actual amount of pages in the book, I bet you probably meant 1.15 Billion pages and not 1.15 million... unless there's less than one page in each copy of the book?

Raz Godelnik said...

Thanks, Thomas. You're right - should be 1.15 Billion of course.