ITALIAN Sergio Bodini proudly shows off his copy of The Sun that’s part of his record breaking newspaper collection.
The chemist from Rome has made it into the new edition of The Guinness Book of World Records thanks to the amazing 1,444 different daily newspapers he keeps in his home.
Sergio has been seeking out new titles since the age of nine and one of the first he bought was a copy of Britain’s biggest selling daily back in April 1980.
The 49-year-old Italian has newspapers from 115 different countries – just under two thirds of all the countries in the world. He’s got ones from as far away as Antigua and Barbuda and China.
But Sergio, who wanted to be a journalist when he at school, has never appeared in a national newspaper – until now.
He told The Sun last night: “I love newspapers. I like the smell, the touch, how the headings are different. It gives me a sense of being in a big world. In my room I turn and I see Greek and then Chinese and then Russian.
‘IT’S LIKE MAGIC’
“When I see all this news it reminds me about important events. I have a newspaper from Holland when the Pope died. I didn’t even remember that until I picked it up again. It’s like you get back there. It’s like magic, reliving history.”
Sergio started collecting different ones when he was aged nine and is still seeking out fresh titles today.
He explained: “I started when I was in primary school and I was nine. I have The Sun from 1980. It was one of the first newspapers I ever bought because they used to sell it in Milan where I used to live.
“When I was a kid my father would always buy me a newspaper when we went out to make me happy.”
His collection boasts an impressive 1,444 different daily newspaper titles[/caption]
When he was younger he went to Communist Eastern Europe with his father, but taking the propaganda sheets out was banned.
Sergio recalled: “I had to sneak the newspapers under my jumper, because they were checking we weren’t bringing anything on board. I have all these papers from the Cold War, from Russia and Bulgaria.”
Friends and relatives help him out by sending exotic editions from across the globe. For him, they have to be a daily like The Sun, otherwise he isn’t interested.
Sergio’s work as a researcher analysing water takes him to places such as China and Qatar where he picks up newspapers. On the flight back his baggage will be weighed down by them.
He said: “Friends know about my collection and so when they are abroad they will send me newspapers. I only collect daily newspapers. I don’t collect weeklies and I don’t care about magazines.
“I have almost all newspapers in Italy. I might have missed some that were short lived. I had a friend in US who was always bringing me back newspapers. And I occasionally work in China, so I have newspapers from there.”
Even though he had always dreamed of achieving a Guinness world record he didn’t go for it until last year.
When Sergio learned that the previous record for different newspapers held by one person was just 500 he felt sure he could do better.
MOST READ IN WORLD NEWS
But he needed his girlfriend and few pals to help him lay out all 1,444 of them so they could be counted. They covered a couple of rooms and the corridor.
Having sent in his video recording of himself counting them all, Sergio then had to wait to see if he’d made it into the famous book.
Sergio recalled: “When I opened the mail and it said ‘you are officially amazing’ I was almost falling off my bed with happiness.”
- The Guinness World Records 2020 Edition is out now.
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