Speed Reads

Forbidden Book Treasure

The longest book in the world is for sale, but you can't read it

A limited-edition single-volume collection of the manga One Piece is being hailed as the longest book ever, as reported by The Guardian

Clocking in at a whopping 21,450 pages, the tome is physically impossible to read and is more of an art piece than an actual book. One Piece has been serialized in Japanese magazine Shōnen Jump weekly since 1997.

The gigantic collection is not associated with Eiichiro Oda, the writer and artist who created the manga. Multidisciplinary artist Ilan Manouach created the book/sculpture entitled ONEPIECE by printing out digital editions of One Piece and bounding the pages together. The sheer magnitude of the book and his treatment of the pages as sculptural material make the book unreadable.

When asked if they were worried about copyright infringement, JBE Books, the French publisher behind the artwork, said, "This piece is about Manouach's work around ecosystems of comics, here as a sculptor who uses online dissemination as source material, not reading copyrighted content." Indeed, "ONEPIECE exists as an object of pure speculation," the publisher insists on their website. 

A representative for JBE further told The Guardian that the book "unreadable sculpture that takes the shape of a book — the largest one to date in page numbers and spine width — that materializes the ecosystem of online dissemination of comics." The limited edition printing of 50 copies sold out quickly after its premiere on Sept. 7.