Rare $12,000 book weighing 50 pounds is now on display at JH Book Trader

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – It’s not every day you get to see, touch, and read a 50-lb book that retails for $12,000. Jackson Hole Book Trader has secured a rare sample copy of Taschen’s Murals of Tibet, signed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Most people cannot buy a $12,000 book, but for the next two months or so anyone can see and touch Taschen’s new SUMO-size Murals of Tibet at the local bookstore. The boutique bookshop was able to secure a loan of one of only a few traveling samples of the masterpiece, which includes photographs of 130 centuries-old, life-size artworks from Tibetan Buddhist temples, monasteries, stupas, and other sites dating from 633.

Each book is signed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. (JH Book Trader)

For those interested in purchasing the book, the shop also has for sale a separate copy safely stored in a box in a back room.

Using new multi-image digital photography techniques, the 50-pound, 19.7 x 27.6-inch Murals of Tibet presents the most precious surviving murals of Tibetan Buddhist culture. Photographer Thomas Laird spent nearly 10 years traveling Tibet capturing the images in the book. Collectors immediately bought most of the 998 available copies.

“When I decided I wanted to buy Murals of Tibet, I didn’t think I would be able to get it,” said Susan Temple, Book Trader’s owner. “I want to bring objects to Jackson that people wouldn’t be able to experience unless they went to a big city. This book, with its subject matter, seemed like something people in Jackson would be interested in seeing and experiencing. I feel like there is a spiritual connection between Jackson and Tibet.”

The 19.7 x 27.6-inch Murals of Tibet weighs in at a hefty 50 pounds. (JH Book Trader)

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama signed each copy of Murals of Tibet. Each book comes with a foldable bookstand designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect and humanitarian pioneer Shigeru Ban.

“Thomas Laird’s Murals of Tibet is a unique treasure; a timeless gift from Tibet to the world—not only for this generation, but for generations to come,” said actor Richard Gere.

Temple added, “This is a unique book. There is nothing like it. It’s not just a book, but also an excavation of religion and culture. It’s a work of art, and I wanted to share it with the Jackson community. I knew I couldn’t get the sample book unless I bought a copy.”

Jackson Hole Book Trader does not yet know how long it will have the sample copy for people to experience, but Temple says it will be at least one month, and maybe two. “We’re going to keep it for as long as we can. It is blessed and signed by the Dalai Lama—it’s nice to have around just for that,” Temple said.

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