Garfield at Large is the first Garfield comic strip compilation book. The book was originally published by Ballantine books in the USA in 1980 and the strips date from June 19, 1978 to January 22, 1979. This book introduced the "Garfield Format" to the comic book market. Prior to its publication, comic strip compilations were originally formatted like a standard Paperback book with the panels running down the page. Jim Davis disliked the idea and coerced Ballantine to print the strips from left to right, as they would have appeared in the newspaper. This resulted in the final product being shorter from top to bottom and much wider from side to side than the average paperback book.
The book was #1 on The NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list for almost two years. 
"Like every great lasagna, Garfield was born in the kitchen of an Italian restaurant on a winter's night in 1978, while outside snow fell like grated Parmesan cheese. He weighed five pounds, six ounces at birth--that's big for a kitten!--and right from the start showed a passion for Italian food. the restaurant owner, forced to choose between Garfield and closing his doors for lack of pasta, sold Garfield to a pet store. Garfield thought he was a goner until Jon Arbuckle walked in the door."