John Q. Benham Has the Largest Book Collection in the World
Earlier on this list, we already mentioned two huge book collections from Thomas Jefferson and Karl Lagerfeld. Those will pale in comparison to John Q. Benham’s massive collection of 1.5 million books. According to Guinness World Records, “As (the books) have filled up his house, most of them must be kept in his six-car garage, two-storey building and piled under tarpaulin outdoors.”Some people might label nearly all of the Guinness World Record holders as “hoarders” when you really think about it. But there are massive collections of all sorts. The one major difference between your typical Guinness World Record-breaking collection and John Benham’s is the fact that most people keep their collection safe in a room in their house.
According to Rare Book Hub, there is another man out there who also claims to have 1.5 million books named Anke Gowda. However, he has never counted or officially verified the exact number of books he has kept on his property. Fifty years ago, he made a promise to himself to collect at least 1,000 books per month. Since he was originally from India, Anke Gowda collects books that were written in 20 different Indian languages. He also collects stamps, coins and paper money, movie posters and newspapers on the side. At first, Gowda filled his entire house with his book collection, and only left a small corner to sleep on the floor and cook. Eventually, he received help to build a 24,000 square foot structure to put in his library, and volunteers helped him take care of the collection.