Saturday, April 27, 2013

The World of Miniature Books

The New York Times explores the miniature book collection of Neale Albert.

From the story...

His book collection began in the early 1990s as an offshoot of his interest in meticulously detailed dollhouses. He had commissioned a model of Cliveden House in England, where he and his wife had spent a weekend. It required a library.

“What do you need for a library?” he said. “Books.” 

So he started buying dollhouse-size books from collectors (partly with the assistance of a publication called International Doll House News). It took years to fill the dollhouse library, but by the time he’d finished, he was addicted. 

Recently, Mr. Albert was showing me around the books in his rooftop cottage, when he made me an intriguing offer. “Let’s go downstairs,” he said. “I’ll show you the smallest book in the world.”
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.

On a bookshelf in the living room, Mr. Albert lifted a secret panel to retrieve what he said was the smallest book in the world.

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