Last week I had an appointment in The Hague, in the offices of TNO, a Dutch research institute. While waiting for my host I noticed a large, heavy book in one corner. A gorgeous photograph of a layered outcrop on one page and a detailed geologic description, with several maps on the other page. So large that you had to plan your moves before turning a page.
Other pages contained more delights. The geology under Europe ... layers, ages, structures ... maps, pictures, text. More than any human could absorb. In a monumental A2-size. Something physical, like from another age but seemingly modern. A scientific achievement to be proud of.
Note: This book is so different that Amazon doesn't even list a price.
amazon.com - Petroleum-Geological-Atlas-Southern-Permian