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Stacking Books On Your Head – How Many Can You Handle?

Today, a challenge for you.

Yesterday was my first day back at work after a couple of weeks on the road. As I drove I thought “I think I’m actually going to enjoy getting back to it.”

This happy specter of thought persisted until I walked by the reference aisle. I took a step backward and double-checked what mine eyes had beheld.

A man was sitting there with a stack of reference books on top of his head. He was not doing anything else. I could not make out his eyes behind dark sunglasses. He was stoic. He said nothing and did not move. I fought the urge to say “Excuse me, I noticed that there is a stack of books on your head. What’s that all about?”

But I didn’t.

An hour later he was still there, a balancing master if I’ve ever seen one.

There was only one thing for it. I went into the staff room and tried to balance one book on my head. I could not. Apparently my head is shaped like the Sydney Opera House, as far as stacking is concerned.


The Sydney Opera House - Not ideal for stacking books on top of.

How was he doing it? These were not bendy comic books. I’m talking about four big reference books the size of a Black’s Law Dictionary. It was uncanny.

Here’s the experiment for you today. How many books can you stack on your head? How long can you hold them for? Could you do it for an hour?

Let me know how it goes.


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Patrick M. Tracy August 16, 2011, 3:09 pm

    I can balance at least one book on my head. I don’t care to do it for an hour, or try for a large number of books. On the other hand, I can balance a 150 lb sandbag on my head. That’s much more a neck strength issue, as the bag tends to find its own level without your intervention.

  • Caitlin August 16, 2011, 5:41 pm

    Congratulations, Josh. You actually had me sitting here attempting to balance my Oxford Latin Dictionary (yes, the BIG one) on my head. I gave up after not too long – though I did manage to balance it – because it kind of hurt the top of my head. Though, I feel like the American Heritage Dictionary maybe would have been slightly easier since it is not covered in a slick plastic dust cover.

  • Eric | Eden Journal August 17, 2011, 5:42 am

    I got to 53. (Kindle books count, right?)

    Maybe that’s why the guy was doing this in the library, he probably has a Kindle and didn’t have any real books at home. It’s good to know that traditional books still have some value.

  • Michelle August 17, 2011, 7:47 am

    I used to walk to my next class with a textbook or two on my head. Haven’t tried it in years though.

    Yeah, I was the weird kid.

  • Gustavo| Frugal Science August 17, 2011, 8:04 am

    I do my book stacking at night, right after my chainsaw juggling and before my underwater bagpiping; so, I will have to get back to you later today with this one.

  • Jim Janney August 17, 2011, 12:30 pm

    Just tried it with Rector and Newcomer’s _Win32 Programming_, which is
    a big thick book. I can’t do it at all, my head is too pointy. Maybe
    if I used a towel or something.

  • cinderkeys August 17, 2011, 10:36 pm

    Maybe the real experiment was to see how many people asked him what was going on, and how many left him alone.