The world’s smallest book, the world’s largest paper mill, and the world’s largest newsstandsSeptember 29, 2007
During my visit to Germany earlier this week, I was lucky to have had the opportunity to visit The Gutenberg Museum in Mainz and to speak at the Myllykoski Summit ’07 in Munich. During the visit to the museum, I was wowed by the beauty of the first ever printed Bible and was introduced to the whole process of printing following the footsteps of Gutenberg. In addition to the great printing works of Gutenberg, the museum also has the world’s smallest printed book that includes the Lord’s prayer in seven different languages. Another Wow! moment. I bought a copy and could not stop being amazed by the power of print and ink on paper. And, as if I needed another proof that we will have printed stuff as long as we have human beings, my next stop was Munich where I was speaking at the paper company Myllykoski Summit 07 on the future of ink on paper. The company is investing 486 million euros to build the largest paper mill that I have ever seen—a state of the art project that started last Oct. and is nearing completion. You have to visit the mill to believe it. When I gave my speech the next day I challenged all in attendance who still have any doubt about the future of print to go and do two things: visit the paper mill and go to a newsstand—any newsstand—and check the amount of magazines and newspapers carried in Germany. I thought we had a lot of magazines in the United States, but now I have to say that the stands in Germany carry more titles than any other country I have visited. To be true and honest to myself, I was never overwhelmed with a newsstand in my life until I visited the ones in Germany. I was amazed and stunned. I issue the same plea for anyone that still doubts the power of print…go visit Germany, it is worth the price. I thought I saw large newsstands in New York City, in Tokyo, in Helsinki, but what I saw in Germany is second to none. All in all, I came back from my trip with my belief in the future of print deeper than ever. No wonder the title of my speech was Ink on Paper: The Future is NOW.