by Cayce McCarthy. Arts and Entertainment blogger.
Publishing companies Dutton and Penguin Random House have just created something called the tiny book. They took a few of John Green’s novels like The Fault In Our Stars and shrunk it down into a book that can fit into the palm of your hand. But is this really new news? Are small books something that hasn’t happened before? The answer you are looking for is no they are not. In fact, small books have been in and out of popular canon for years first starting in the 16th Century with mini copies of the Bible, Dante, and Ovid.
One of the first small books is what is known as a chapbook. They were tiny little books that contained poems and other tales. Traveling salesmen called Chapmen would go around markets and villages and sell these books very cheaply to people who wanted to buy them. Typically lower class people bought chapbooks because of their cheap prices. Eventually, the books fell out of popular canon because they were seen as cheap and were eventually turned into today’s versions of magazines, comics, and children’s books.
Around the 18th and 19th Century during the time if the Industrial Revolution books became easier to bind thus causing tiny books to fall out of canon and they only returned in canon with pocketbooks during the WWII era. Despite this though small magazines and religious texts have been sold for years and are still sold to this day. Now it seems small book are becoming popular again because of a trend in the Netherlands with what they call “dwarsliggers.” This trend caught the attention of American publishing houses who thought it was a great idea to shrink down books to pocket size. It makes sense to have small books because those would be easier to travel with than large books and hopefully, they can battle against e-books and reading tablets.