What’s the Story behind the Intriguing Collection of Tiny Books Behind the Counter

November 15th, 2013 by Editor Leave a reply »

The miniature books are something I have bought and sold since I began bookselling, in the 1980′s, as a very young man, hawking books around London on foot to the West End bookshops and later at monthly bookfairs in Bloomsbury and then in my own bookshops.
Miniatures originated when almanacs (our equivalent of diaries) and religious texts were needed in portable editions for the waistcoat pocket, to be consulted when at work or travelling. In Victorian times they were also used to advertise things such as Pears soap, and classic texts by Shakespeare and Lord Tennyson for example were issued as collectables. There were still some practical miniature editions of tables printed for engineers and foreign language dictionaries for travellers, but gradually miniature books have become more and more prized as objects to collect. The technical achievement of producing a legible book in such a tiny format still fascinates me.
Because I have found them so intriguing, you will always find a selection for sale at my bookshop, from rarities up to 20th century examples that you can buy from as little as £7.99 or into the hundreds of pounds.

On the Buy Out of Print Books tab, on the home page of the CamdenLock Books website, you can see a list of just a few miniature books in stock now. You should click on “View all catalogues” and then again on “Miniature”.


Leave a Reply