king leaves record-setting legacy, by Sasha Shtargot
- 22nd April 2004
The Sydney Morning Herald)
A trivia question: the co-founder of the world's most
well-known volume of trivia has died of a heart attack.
Who was he?
you answered "Norris McWhirter", the 78-year-old
Englishman who with his twin brother, Ross, started
the Guinness Book of Records in 1954, congratulations.
obsessive gatherer of quirky facts, McWhirter edited
the Guinness Book of Records, a compendium of milestones
from the oldest man ever to the longest eyelashes
on a dog, until 1986.
brother, Ross, who like him was a passionate supporter
of conservative politics, was killed by the IRA in
200,000 copies of the book, now called Guinness World
Records, were sold last year in Australia and up to
3 million copies have been bought by Australian readers
since 1954. The 50th edition is expected to be out
Govil, the owner-manager of Eltham Bookshop, said
the book was mainly bought as a Christmas present
for boys aged 10 to 14.
such an institution. It's been running for so many
years and it's got such a cult following," she
or grandparents see it as a great gift. Once the book
is brought home, a lot of people dip into it, not
just the person for whom it's bought."
Govil said she sold up to 40 Guinness World Records
books each year, but would sell many more if major
chain stores such as Kmart did not offer it at a substantially
a 13-year-old student at Eltham High School, said
he enjoyed reading the quirky and interesting facts
in Guinness World Records.
mainly look at the big battles over previous years
and the tallest and fastest things in the world,"
got stuff on the most deadliest virus in the world,
which eats flesh very slowly."
Lenahan, general manager of Borders Books in Carlton,
said the book was loved because it was well presented
and easy to read.
a bit of a tradition. People remember it from their
childhood and after they've bought it as a present,
they want to have a look at it themselves," he
Phillips, sales and marketing director with the book's
Australian distributor, Pan Macmillan, said Guinness
World Records was a perennial settler of family arguments
said the book's adult appeal in the 1950s and 1960s
had changed over the years and it was now mainly enjoyed
by adolescent boys.
just a thing that they (young boys) have got to know
the most ghoulish things or the shortest, tallest,
or fastest whatever and they've just got to talk about
Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald - Books
Arrow Catcher (Anthony Kelly)
World's Largest Steer
the jaws of a monster - 20th April 2004
Man Australia Shakes Up Media and PR Market