On May 4, 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, went on a shooting party in North Slob in County Wexford, Ireland. He became involved in an argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe, then later realized it was impossible to confirm in reference books. He then thought that a book supplying answers to such questions could be popular.
The first 197-page edition of the “Guinness Book of Records” was bound on Aug. 27, 1955, and went on to the top of the British best-seller list by Christmas. ”It was a marketing give away—it wasn’t supposed to be a money maker,” said Beaver. The following year it was launched in the U.S., and it sold 70,000 copies. Over 400 million copies have sold since the first edition. The most recent one to hit the shelves is the “Guinness World Records 2010.”
This book is published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. The book itself held a world record, as the best-selling copyrighted series of all-time. It is also one of the most stolen books from public libraries in the United States.
For more information visit: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/