For all of the bookworms, here are some of the most exquisitely rendered miniature books in the world.
As a warm up, here’s a picture of the bombed-out Holland House library in London during WW2. The message was loud and clear. Readers won’t be perturbed from doing what they love, no matter what else is going on around them. There is something comforting in that.
This miniscule book has pages measuring a measly 0.75 millimetres (0.03 inches), and writing that’s impossible to read with the naked eye.
The charming 22 page book has monochromatic illustrations of Japanese flowers and their descriptions. The printing company responsible for Shiki no Kusabana used similar technology as used by money printers to prevent forgery, with letters spaced an amazing 0.101 mm apart.
This book was created in recent years to compete against the current Guiness World Record holder for the world’s smallest book, but failed to cut the mustard. Still, it’s incredibly beautiful in its own right. Shiki no Kusabana is on display at the Toppan Printing Museum in Tokyo.
Here it is next to the eye of a needle…
The Chameleon by Anton Checkov
The claim for the smallest book in the world goes to the 30 page volume (in English) of the Russian novel The Chameleon by Anton Checkov. This was created by Siberian craftsman Anatoly Konenko in 1996 and measures a tiny 0.9 mm, or about the same size of a grain of salt. Astonishingly, this book also has three colour illustrations, but nothing can be seen with the naked eye.
The University of Iowa Library
This library has around 4,000 miniature books on the shelves.
My Very Own Tiny Book
This one comes from a country market in Cardigan, Wales. It’s leather-bound with gold leaf writing on the cover and entitled The Lady of the Lake by Walter Scott, printed in Glasgow by David Brice and Sons, published in MCMV (1905).
It’s probably the oldest thing I own and one of the most treasured. Other treasured old things include, a 1940’s vintage red dress from Poland, which I wear all the time (it most certainly has a story), a pair of battered old leather boots, and books, lots more books.
Do you have any books that you treasure?