25 April 2011

Random Musings: World's Smallest Book

First of all: have you entered my giveaway yet? You could win a $25 gift certificate to Literary Tease! (Contests end April 29th @ 5 PM)
Tiny books, coptic-stitch, made by me
I wasn't so foolhardy as to believe that the tiny coptic-stitch books I made last year after taking a bookbinding class with Joann of Paper Girls Studio were tiny enough to be considered for the title of World's Smallest Books, but compared to the book that actually has that title, my books are positively gargantuan!

Second book - 2.5 inches x 2 inches
When I came home from my bookbinding lesson, I decided to try my hand at making a smaller book that my original (7 inches x 4 inches). My second book measures 2.5 inches tall by 2 inches wide. But that still wasn't small enough!

Third book - 2 x 1.25 inches
My third book is even smaller at 2 inches by 1.25 inches. Could I go smaller? I sure could!

Fourth book - 1.25 inches x 1 inch
The smallest book measures 1.25 inches by 1 inch. I did the stitching a little too tight; I suspect I was getting tired by that point. The book won't stay closed flat. I meant to add a tie to it, like the other two miniature books, but never did get around to it. I made the signature using scraps of watercolor paper and  pages from a copy of Alice in Wonderland, which just seemed appropriate.

Coptic-stitch bound

Still, despite being very small, this book is giant compared to the tiny book owned by Mark Palkovic. His tiny volume .9 x .9 millimeters. You read that right. Millimeters. Not centimeters. Millimeters. Go, right now, look at a ruler to get a sense of just how small that is. How would you even look at it? Apparently, only 100 copies of the book were made, and I just bet that over half of them were lost or accidentally inhaled! In fact, the book is so small, that Palkovic keeps a larger copy of the book around to show people:

Guinness World Records has confirmed that Palkovic is the owner of the smallest book in the world. Palkovic's book, Chekhov's Chameleon, measures just .9 by .9 millimeters, not much larger than a grain of salt. Amazingly, this miniscule book has 30 pages and three color illustrations. The print cannot be read by the naked eye, but Palkovic keeps another larger copy of the book, still measuring just a tiny 2 by 1.8 centimeters, nearby.
The "larger" copy is still about 1/3 the size of my smaller book. Wow.

Here's my favorite part of the article:
As for the tiniest book in the world, Palkovic does not just let it sit in its decorative collector's box. Even though it's as small as a little grain of salt, he has to take it out and look at the book, bound in gold and silk. "If you ever get a miniature book, you will never lose it," he says. "You may not be able to find it for awhile, but you'll come across it again. You just tend to put it somewhere safe because it's a treasured little thing."
So, what are your thoughts about tiny books? Ever made one? Own one?


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