In December 2003 Michael Hawley, a scientist at MIT, issued what was then the world's largest printed book—Bhutan: a Visual Odyssey Across the Kingdom. The work, which was, in my opinion, also one of the most beautiful books ever published, was undertaken as a philanthrophic endeavor. It had 112 pages and weighed 133 pounds on an included custom-built aluminum stand. It's page openings were 7 x 5 feet. The work was initially offered in exchange for a $10,000 contribution. However, in November 2008 Amazon.com was offering copies for sale for $30,000 each.
A more practical and affordable way to appreciate this spectacular volume was the trade edition published in 2004, a copy of which I acquired. In February 2009 this was offered for sale by Amazon.com for $100.00. In my opinion this is one of the finest and most spectacular trade books designed, printed and bound in America, though my aging eyes were not entirely comfortable reading white text against a black background. The clothbound volume, with an unusual dust jacket printed on both sides, measures 15¼ x 12¼ inches (39 x 31 cm).