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Reading material for giants

Amazon to sell world's largest book

If you've got $10,000 (about £8,500) to spare and know someone with an extremely large bookshelf, you may be in for some interesting holiday shopping this December on Amazon's US website.

The online retailer plans to sell a massive 100-page book printed on 7x5ft pages, according to Michael Hawley, a director of special projects at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) who is publishing the book as a fund-raising exercise for a non-profit company he founded called Friendly Planet.

Hawley has led MIT research projects exploring the ways that digital technology can affect everyday objects such as coffee makers, refrigerators and even fruits and vegetables.

The book, which will be called Growing up in Bhutan, will be published using HP's DesignJet 5500, a large format printer sometimes used for fine art projects. It will feature photographs of the country and people of Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan nation of 600,000 that is best known by many for waiting until 1999 to officially adopt television.

Each book will be made from four 100ft long rolls of 5ft wide paper, which are then folded like an accordion. Tabs will be inserted into the rolls at 7ft intervals and those tabs will then be stitched into the book's binding. Just printing the images on the four rolls of paper will take about 25 hours, according to Hawley.

Although the book is more of a novelty than a practical offering, Hawley hopes to raise around $4m for his charity.

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