In celebration of the 60th anniversary of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS, and the release of the 2016 edition of the best-selling book on September 10th, we sat down with Editor in-Chief, Craig Glenday to ask him a few questions.
1. How did you get started at GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS?
CG: I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Publishing at Napier University, Edinburgh, where I learned everything from editing, designing, printing, and binding books to distributing, marketing, and selling them. After working in publishing for several years, I joined the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS editorial team in 2002. My promotion to the Editor-in-chief in 2005 was the fulfilment of a childhood dream.
2. What do you enjoy about working at GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS?
CG: I’ve been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember. I’m a real trivia buff and have always collected quirky and fascinating facts. Plus, I’d always wanted to work in publishing, so you can imagine my excitement when I got the job at GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS. I’ve had the chance to meet all of those childhood heroes who inspired me while I was growing up.
3. What’s the most challenging part of putting together the annual book each year?
CG: One of the biggest challenge I face each year is refreshing the content and providing as many new and updated records as possible. We’re always on the lookout for the most interesting, relevant, exciting, quirky, and educational topics, with a particular focus on the family market. Fads such as twerking, selfies, and loom bands have been the source of new records in recent times, and new areas of focus in the book this year include 3D printing, Netflix, Minecraft, and YouTube. Many people don’t realize that around 75% of the content is new each year.
4. How do you decide what to leave out of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Book?
CG: With around 1,000 record applications every week, the biggest challenge is deciding on what to leave out. I’ve got to make an editorial decision each time: is the record suitable for the book? Does it fit into one of the chapters? Is it particularly timely? Does it have a great photograph? The book is highly visual, with nearly 1,000 images and dozens of never before seen photographs, and the decision of whether or not a record is included often hangs on the quality of the photos. I’m often disappointed that certain claimants go to all the effort of breaking a record only to supply a terribly bad photo. I only want the very best images in the book. Luckily, we have a great Picture department who source us the world’s most awesome imagery.
5. What are your favorite records?
CG: I have too many to count, but here are a few of my favorites from the 2016 book, in no particular order.
• Meeting of the shortest (Chandra Bahadur Dangi – 21.5 in) and tallest man (Sultan Kosen – 8 ft 3 in) to mark Guinness World Records Day 2015 in London
• Most expensive car sold at auction – $38.1 million, a 1962 Ferrari Berlinetta coupé
• Fastest speed for a car driven blindfolded – 200.51 mph, Mike Newman (who is registered blind)
• Farthest backwards basketball shot – 82 ft 2 in, Thunder Law (USA) of the Harlem Globetrotters
• Heaviest tire deadlift (and all the other lifting records) – 1,155 lb 3.55 oz, Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania)
• Oldest competitive sprinter – 104 years old, Hidekichi Miyazaki (Japan)
Visit www.guinnessworldrecords.com to learn more.