Until recently, I would have thought that there would be little point in owning a physical copy of the Guinness World Records. After all, you can view enough world records online to keep you satisfied. However, there is something universal and compelling about a recent version of the Guinness World Records. Everyone who comes across the book picks it up for an idle flick. And the pre-teens that I tried it with just loved it. My favourite? The man who holds apples in his mouth and cuts them in half with a chainsaw.
This is a very well put together book. It is not a dry listing of records, but rather a summary of some of the more interesting or relevant records divided into sections. Each section starts with a list of milestone records (such as first man on the moon). There is a strong emphasis on personalising the experience of world records, with the book being both a resource and the start of the ‘records experience.’ There is an editor’s letter at the start of the book that seems to be personalised by region as it heavily references Australia and New Zealand. A flow chart at the start of the book outlines the process involved in submitting a record claim. For a full catalogue of records, check out their website: www.guinnessworldrecords.com.
There is an associated app with the book − just make sure that you download the app corresponding to the correct year. A quick trip to the app store and we got the feature showing the cover in 3D working brilliantly. Unfortunately, the app is quite difficult to use. Ours crashed numerous times, and when we did get it to work it was not user-friendly and it was quite clunky. It is a shame, as the potential is there to really add value to the book.
I can’t recommend this book enough for children aged 7-11 as a Christmas gift, or for that adult who is tricky to buy for.
Reviewed by Emma Wong-Ming
Guinness Book of Records 2015
Published by Guinness