Small, Smaller, Smallest


What do you think is the world’s smallest book?

I wondered this myself after my son quoted from one of his factual books that the world’s smallest book could fit into a nutshell.

Intrigued I set out to gather information. article-2663097-1EF31A8800000578-451_306x300Indeed there is a book which could easily fit in a nutshell.

Created in 1952 by the Gutenberg Shop to raise funds for its museum in Mainz, Germany the book measures only 3.5 mm by 3.5 mm. It contains the Lord’s Prayer in seven languages and the pages can only be turned with a pair of tweezers and requires a magnifying glass to be read. article-2663097-1EF3389B00000578-3_634x466

The book is made in the traditional manner, with letter printing, bound in leather, hand stitched and completed with gold cross on cover and gold blocking. nano2

However, even smaller in depth is the smallest bible in the world, the nano bible. Forget paper, printing and leather binding, this bible is a silicon wafer chip measuring 4.76 mm – as large as a finger-nail.

It nano1contains all the 27 books of the New Testament.  Although you can have the book with you at all times – now offered as part of jewellery, there is one serious snag. You better not forget to bring a microscope along!

According to Guinness World Record however, the smallest book is the minute hair-width ‘Teeny Ted from Turnip Town’. teenyCreated in a nano laboratory in Canada, this 30 page tale is only visible through the use of an electron microscope as it is printed on a microchip tablet made from pure crystalline silicon.

This labour of love cost nearly £10,000. The book, which has its own ISB number, was made by the Robert Chaplin at the Simon Fraser University, in British Columbia, Canada. The story was written by his brother Malcolm as a distraction from his economics studies in 2007. teeny3

To the left the is the  small book chip set next to a thin scratch in a piece of glass.

After all that I’m off to read a book – one that can be held in my hand,  legible to the naked eye and not worn as a piece of jewellery!

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”

by  Mark Twain Photos: From DailyMaill online or otherwise where stated.

17 thoughts on “Small, Smaller, Smallest

    1. Ahh … thank you so much for your care, Johanna! Things have been a bit crazy these past few months but so much better now. I look forward to posting soon again. Oh, strange is an understatement! Hope you and your family are all well. xx

  1. Fascinating post, Annika! I came over from your other post of the largest book in the world. Could the pages turned electronically, I wonder? How can one read if it takes six people t turn the page.

    1. Miriam, thank you for popping over to this older post and I’m glad enjoyed it so! 😀 You make a good point about turning the pages … maybe a button operates a mechanical system to turn each page – otherwise the six people would have to be very patient indeed! 😀😀

    1. Erica, I’m not sure why it doesn’t work … at one stage I took off the like button across my post and when I put it back up so many likes had disappeared! Thank you so much for reading and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Much love, Annika xx ❤️

  2. Pingback: Not One to Read in Bed! – Annika Perry's Writing Blog

  3. Mike

    This is very interesting and shows what humans can achieve if they put their mind to it. But in my opinion t’s not just the size of a book that matters, but what it contains. And that’s the joy of books – you just never know where it’s going to lead you until you open one and start to read!

    You blogs continue to be varied and thought provoking. Keep up the good work!


    1. I think humans always love a challenge even if there might be no real point to it – how many after all will read those books. We all like pushing to the limits of our ability. Yes, books are a wonder and I still pause, ever so slightly before opening a new book, hardly daring to read. Hoping it will grab me, move me and waiting to immerse myself in its magic. Pure joy, if it all works! That’s the effect I hope to have on my readers!

  4. Peter R

    And your next question is…”How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”

    An author’s reply comes form Dorothy L Sayers. “Angels are pure intelligences, not material, but limited, so that they have location in space, but not extension.” Therefore..”An infinity, since they do not occupy any space there”

    However, the book is better. It’s real, and beautiful.

    1. Thank you Peter, very deep and wise. It’s a great question and answer, however think I might stick to the more tangible and earth-bound. Am now beginning to wonder about the world’s biggest books – watch this space. Love your comment as always.

  5. Mirja

    I have fallen in love with this tiny but so beautiful leather bound
    book. Don’t think the museum in Mainz would be too happy for
    me holding it….even for a minute.?
    A piece of jewellery containing the whole New Testament! What next.?
    Fascinating Annika and I find the pictures quite evocative.

    1. Mirja, to your question. No! No touching the book, well, perhaps, since it’s you, with the right gloves they might give you a quick hold of it. lol. As for the necklace New Testament, better hope you don’t need to quickly look something up.

  6. Barbara

    That is one teeny tiny book!
    I will need a tiny cup of tea and a tiny warm blanket too….. if I am to shrink myself down to read it.

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