This morning, after reading the news that the British Library was encouraging kids to make their own tiny books in imitation of the Brontë sisters’ childhood crafting endeavors, I fell down a deep, deep internet hole that ended unlike almost any other: in a place of rest. That place is tiny book YouTube.
Here, meet Louis Bondy, tiny book collector of yesteryear, who in 1952 let a film crew into his London apartment to see his hundreds of small volumes. (The voiceover cheerily mentions that a typesetter for one of the tiny books was “driven nearly blind and insane by his task,” but I think we’re not supposed to worry about that.)
Watch an antiquarian bookseller flip through a tiny Bible, circa 1835-40:
Take a walk through the University of Iowa’s collection, consisting of more than 4,000 miniature books, courtesy of Iowa PBS:
Check out this absolutely bonkers tiny printing of Hamlet, created by Jan and Jaremila Sobota in 2009 and acquired by the University of Virginia: