Good things come in small packages Vs. Big is beautiful

We all know that the size of a book is no indication of how good a read it’s going to be, although there is something deeply satisfying about settling into a chunky read and breaking the spine: you’re committed to that book from that point on, in my opinion.

But with Christmas approaching, I’m on the look out for that sometimes maligned category of ‘loo book’. Something short and sweet to serve as stocking-fillers for my many and varied relations. Feel free to pity them at this stage, an edge of desperation is already creeping into my Christmas shopping thoughts.

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories might very well fit into that category. It’s the output of online collaboration project Hit Record, fronted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (actor from such pearls as Inception, 500 Days of Summer oh, and Third Rock from the Sun – and pictured here reading from the aforementioned book). They brought out a first volume last year and a second has just been released, so they must be doing something right.

Perfectly timed for this blog, I then stumbled upon a book at the other end of the massive scale, a book of a completely different magnitude. You’ve heard of folios, most often in connection with Shakespeare, right? Pretty big books, I just googled it and apparently the first folio of Shakespeare’s plays measured about 35cm high. The largest format A&B currently produces runs to 24cm. So, as I flicked through the Guardian yesterday I came upon a piece about the Natural History Museum’s new permanent exhibition of their treasures. I have spent many happy hours gawping at their exhibits and the building itself and was impressed by the mention of The Birds of America, an 1838 publication that was printed in a double folio size. Or so I thought, I did a double-take and re-read the line correctly as ‘double elephant folio’. That stands about a metre tall and it’s filled with beautiful etchings and aquatints. I think it’s more likely that a book that size would break my spine rather than the other way around. Take a look at the gallery here.

Any quirky books for Christmas recommendations (ones that will actually fit underneath the tree) welcomed!

Lesley Crooks, Sales & Digital Manager

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