What is this? A book for ants?
December 30, 2012 6:44 PM   Subscribe

I just re-discovered my copy of this edition of Heart of Darkness, which I bought a couple years ago. Help me find more tiny books.

I've been re-reading it, and I like the form factor a lot. It's small enough to fit in my jeans pocket, but not hard to read at all. And the fact that the pages are small is making me read differently: I take more time on each word, rather than skimming, which is great for Conrad.

I'm wondering if there are more books printed in this form-factor (obviously without the novelty cigarette-box packaging). Or, at least, recommendations for the physically smallest editions of books you know of. Really good books and classics are ideal but I'm open to anything.
posted by vogon_poet to Writing & Language (15 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
The Miniature Book Society
posted by various at 7:12 PM on December 30, 2012

There are more out there, but be careful if you want the whole book. I bought a tiny copy of Northanger Abbey in a dollhouse shop in Bath (of course) but it turned out to only have the first part of the novel, which was very disappointing.
posted by jb at 7:27 PM on December 30, 2012

As to where to find them: I would look in dollhouse shops, but online would have more selection.
posted by jb at 7:28 PM on December 30, 2012

Best answer: If you don't mind paying for international shipping (or can find a reseller in the US) there are these miniature editions of Shakespeare. Unabridged, real leather covers, roughly 3x2 inches. I own a few of them, and they're nice.
posted by smock smock smock at 7:36 PM on December 30, 2012

The Little Library of Art is charming, extensive, nicely done, and...little. Not a great page for it but more Googling will give you a better idea

The New Temple Shakespeare, illustrated by Eric Gill is very beautiful, not tiny by quite small (again, poor page but there isn't a great one)

Penguin has done a number of great lines of mini paperbacks

I'll try to have a look at my wee-book collection and report back if there's more of possible interest...
posted by kmennie at 7:37 PM on December 30, 2012

I feel I should point out that "small enough to fit in your jeans pocket, print not so small as to be hard to read, small pages so you spend more time on each word" also describes the experience of reading ebooks on cell phones, at least for me. I have resisted getting a dedicated ebook reader for a long time because I like using a smaller screen to read books much better.

May be totally obvious to you, but if the existence of physical pages isn't part of the appeal of the form factor, think about doing more reading on your phone.
posted by town of cats at 7:41 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

There were several slightly varying miniature editions of Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm with original etchings by David Hockney. It's about 3" x 4.5", beautiful, and apparently sort of expensive.

I have Klee's Magic Squares from this series: Petite Encyclopedie de l'Art Tudor Publishing ABC. They are fun little books to lose yourself in as well.
posted by carsonb at 8:37 PM on December 30, 2012

...my latter suggestion looks to be the same as kmennie's suggested Little Library of Art. Seconded!
posted by carsonb at 8:43 PM on December 30, 2012

Oh yeah, I bought a hand-made 'zine off projects recently that was awesome. It was called Trabant #5 and was about going to circus school. A great little read, and fit nicely in the back pocket.
posted by carsonb at 8:52 PM on December 30, 2012

Scout Books only has a few mini books, but the copy of The Yellow Wallpaper I got is lovely.
posted by bibliogrrl at 9:04 PM on December 30, 2012

Best answer: Flipback books?
posted by neushoorn at 1:08 AM on December 31, 2012

Shambhala Publications' Pocket Classics series meets your criteria. Shambhala's main focus is on eastern religion and philosophy, but if that's not your thing, they also publish pocket editions of books by Emily Dickinson, Edwin Abbott, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, and Rainer Maria Rilke, among others. I have a Pocket Classics edition of Mount Analogue, and it's tiny, adorable, and very readable.
posted by timeo danaos at 5:38 AM on December 31, 2012

I like Tom Jones by Collector's library. It's bigger than a pack of cigs but smaller than my palm and even though it has a lot of pages, it fits into pockets nicely. The book is hilarious, too, once it gets going.
posted by ersatz at 6:57 AM on December 31, 2012

Best answer: I have a bunch of volumes from the Little Leather Library that I inherited from my grandmother. These books are generally 4"x3" and thin and will fit in a pocket. Millions of them were published in the late teens and early 20s, so they're readily available on ebay and etsy for not too much per volume ($3-$7, IME).
posted by clerestory at 9:56 PM on December 31, 2012

Response by poster: These are all great answers. Thanks, everybody! I don't think there's anywhere else on the internet that would have answered this particular question so thoroughly.
posted by vogon_poet at 9:38 PM on January 3, 2013

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