What is your recommendation for an incredibly small book? And then also for a very large book. I’d like to start reading books that give me the sensation of being a very eccentric noblewoman in my country estate where I collect only two things: very tiny and elephant-like books. This is not a joke.
I am loving this question. I must be honest with Hildegard and everyone else- I needed a little time to really dig into answering this question. And, in fact, I’m only going to answer half of it today. This question is worth two Book Dr. columns so we’ll start small- with collecting tiny books.
It turns out that you’re in good company, Hildegard. Not only can you collect diminutive books, you can actually join societies of people who also collect tiny volumes.
Here are my recommendations for you:
First, I would decide how small you want to go. Do you want to collect books that actually have words on the pages? Or does that not matter? If it doesn’t, then you can collect books that are designed for dollhouses. If you’re a bit more avant garde, you can invest in a copy of the world’s smallest book, which was printed on a microchip and measures just 70 microcentimeters by 100 microcentimeters. This technical marvel is blessed with the riveting title “Teeny Ted from Turnip Town” and retails for an easy $10,000, a steal compared to the $15,000 it originally retailed for on Kickstarter.
However, if you want to get into the books with words on the pages, you have to get into the serious collectors. I was charmed by this piece on the NY Times blog about a tiny book collector, 77-year-old Neale Albert. He is described as the most serious miniature book collector living in New York. I think it would be worth reaching out to him. Apparently he began as a dollhouse aficionado and amassing a library for a miniature house hooked him on tiny books. It sounds like you are well on your way.
As a first foray into the world, I might check out this album of beautiful tiny books. The array of options for books this small is astounding. I expect a full report as you build your tiny literary empire, Hildegard. Do send us updates!
Stay tuned- I will not leave you hanging on the elephant-like portion of your question. I will return next week with a prescription for those.
Happy reading and happy hunting,
the book dr.