A Big Collection Of Small Books
I couldn't resist this story about Neale Albert, a collector of miniature books, Over the years, he has collected more than 4,000 volumes, ranging in size from matchbox-size lower.
Inside an ornate wooden box, under a clear protective cover, something minuscule glinted gold. Mr. Albert handed me a magnifying glass. The glint was a book with two covers and about 30 pages between them. It was less than a millimeter across, perhaps the size of a large grain of sand.
(The book is the tiny object in the white circle)
Part of Mr. Albert’s book collection is stored in a “cottage” on top of the Upper East Side apartment building where he lives with his wife. A small bookcase built specifically for his miniatures, each shelf only a few inches high, is packed with rows of the stout creations, elegantly bound and held inside precious slipcases. There are more in his apartment and in 20-some boxes in storage.
In his apartment, Mr. Albert showed me more books, including some with his favorite bindings: an atlas of the British Empire contained a goatskin-bound globe the size of a softball, and a book purporting to contain Voltaire writings held a key embedded in its cover to open the little book of erotica hidden inside. One miniature book was so small that its creator is said to have gone blind after setting its type.
Fans of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune are probably thinking of the tiny Orange Catholic Bible that Dr. Yueh gave to Paul Atreides:
"Before I go, I've a gift for you, something I came across in packing." He put an object on the table between them -- black, oblong, no larger than the end of Paul's thumb...
"It's a very old Orange Catholic Bible made for space travelers. Not a filmbook, but actually printed on filament paper. It has its own magnifier and electrostatic charge system."
(Read more about Frank Herbert's filament paper book
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