Origin of term “Big Book” and why was it called that?
How did the AA Big Book get the name of the Big Book. On pages 242-243 of the Lois W. Story, When Love Is Not Enough; A Biography of the Co-Founder of Al-Anon by William G. Borchert it mentions that a person named Hank recommended a heavy thick paper for its perceived worth. I had read somewhere that Ebby T. had the idea of using the thicker paper. Lois is mentioned to have referred to this bulky book as The Big Book. What is the true origin?
The first printing of the first edition on The Big Book is almost exactly 2 inches thick. It was indeed printed on unusually heavy paper.
The Hank referred to in The Lois W. story would be Henry (Hank) P.
Hank and Bill W. were among the small group to oversee the printing of the book. Since they wanted to sell the book for $3.50 each they wanted the book to be big so people would feel they were getting their money's worth. Adjusted for inflation that would be the same as charging $48.50 in 2007. In some countries they continue to charge $48 for the book.
Hank and Bill asked the printer to use the thickest paper that had and the book also used very large margins. They wanted it to be a "big book" so it would seem only natural that they referred to it as "The Big Book"
There is an article on the subject at: http://www.barefootsworld.net/aabigbook1939.html