Man's Diary Weighs Half a Ton

John Gadd's daily journal fills 21K pages in 151 volumes
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2013 9:32 AM CDT
Man's Diary Weighs Half a Ton

(Newser) – If you've ever perused War and Peace, you know it's as long a war itself. But it's a short story compared with John Gadd's diary—a life collection eight times as long as Tolstoy's novel. It spans 66 years, 21,000 pages, and weighs half a ton. The 151 volumes document everything, from what Gadd ate for breakfast to his thoughts on the death of the LP. "You name it, it's in there," says the 83-year-old, who spends roughly 3 hours a week adding drawings, newspaper clippings, even food wrappers, the Telegraph reports. And he can find anything in minutes, he boasts, thanks to an index he spends two weeks updating each December.

The index, along with 10 of the diary's volumes, is now on display as the largest personal diary ever in Britain. And it's only going to get longer. "I can't stop now," Gadd says. "It would be a shame to look back in so many years time wishing we knew what had happened." One of its many uses: settling family rows. "My wife Barbara and I are always arguing about who we met, when we met them and how old they are. She has a wonderful memory and I have a very bad memory, but I have my diaries—although I have to say she is nearly always right." (Read more diary stories.)

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