Wednesday, May 6, 2009
One of my jobs at the library today was to catalog these five books that altogether line up within the span of a one-foot white plastic ruler. Each volume (which we measure in millimeters instead of the centimeter-measurements that we use for books of ordinary size) was made by hand and with love (and varying levels of skill) at one of the world's many small presses. The oldest one in this group dates from 1978 and the most recent from 2008. In the library they are housed on scaled-down shelves commissioned from a Haight Street hippie carpenter. There are about 110 miniature books on those shelves now, the oldest being an edition of Thomas More's Utopia from 1629.