What are miniature books?

Books under 3" tall are considered miniature books. They're generally readable with the naked eye, and easily handled, like regular sized books. Micro-miniature books, on the other hand, fit the 1"=1', or 1/12 scale, used by most dollhouse makers. These tiny books can still be read (if you're as nearsighted as I am), but illustrations seem to come through much better to full-scale human eyes.

John Carter, in his ABC FOR BOOK COLLECTORS, describes miniature books as books "whose principal (usually only) interest lies in their very small size."  Even though miniature books may not be the best vehicles for weighty ideas, I try, in the books I design and illustrate, to proportion the subject matter to the size of my books. They are indeed meant to be read, and, if they don't tackle the profoundest of ideas, they give their owners some intriguing entertainment.

How to read a miniature book:

Miniature books are made for the same purpose as big ones - to be opened and read. Open a miniature book for the first time the same way you would a larger one: ease open the front and back covers, then smooth open a few pages from the front, then from the back, working your way towards the middle.

These books are small, but not fragile. Open them and read them. Put a couple in your pocket for the day and use them to lighten a boring moment, or to amuse a friend.

Why miniature books?

Because they're irresistible. Extremes of scale, small or large, shock us into consciousness, and make us focus our eyes differently.  When you run out of shelf space for regular books, as collectors will, it's a way to keep buying new books without adding bookshelves. And what dollhouse is complete without a library?

More About Miniature Books: 

The Miniature Book Society

 People who really  know miniature books. The organization promotes all areas of miniature book interest and information. The website has links to publishers and dealers, and information on the annual Conclave.

The Microbibliophile

Jim Brogan's  bi-monthly 'zine about miniature books with articles, reviews, pictures, and  news.It gets bigger every month, and Jim is the man to go to for anything about the miniature book community. The Microbib is on Facebook, too.

Miniature Books: 4,000 Years of Tiny Treasures   
by Anne C. Bromer and  Julian I. Edison

Miniature Books is the first lavishly illustrated, authoritative book on the delightful subject of books no taller than three inches. A dazzling array of books on subjects ranging from Shakespeare’s plays and the Holy Bible to politics and presidents, children’s books, the pleasures of life, and more are shown—with few exceptions—at their actual size.  (from Amazon.com)

Imagination Mall

An immense resource for miniaturists of all kinds. Maintained by Wild Orchid Miniatures, this links list is a bottomless pool of miniature everything-you-can-think-of. The links are sorted, after a fashion, but the fun is in wandering through the byways of human ingenuity.

The International Guild of Miniature Artisans

IGMA was founded to promote fine miniatures as an art form; to increase awareness and appreciation of high-quality workmanship through public education; to recognize and honor qualified artisans and encourage work of highest quality; to encourage the development of new artisans; and to coordinate and serve the interests and needs of the artisan and non-artisan. (from the IGMA website)

The Novels of Prue Batten

How many novels can there be involving miniature books?  This is the only one I know of, and it's a page-turner. Tasmanian artist Prue Batten's somber and romantic fantasies center on the making of a fabulous robe, whose captive seamstress tells her story through tiny books hidden in the embroidery. They're also available on Kindle.

Other Makers of Miniature Books

Tony Firman Bookbinding

He makes and sells equipment for making miniature books,  and makes beautiful books himself.

Nancy Fiumera - The Studio at Far-Enough

Very imaginative books, some with hidden treasures, by Nancy Fiumers, a book artist and grapgic designer.

Gabrielle Fox

One of the greatest living bookbinders, and she makes some gorgeous miniature books..

Booksby Press

A new bookbinder whose website is full of fascinating information - he's a collector, too.

Peter and Donna Thomas

Probably the best-known miniature book artists.

Flying Paper Press 

Jody Williams limited editions artist books are dreamy, and I really covet her website.

De Walden Press

 Jan Kellett made a book called "Storming Shakespeare" that was so wonderful that it literally stopped my breath when I saw it at the Vancover Conclave.

...and many more. It's difficult to find miniature book makers by Googling, but persevere!