I’d like you to do something for me. Just real quick, I mean honestly-five-seconds fast. Open up a google image search in a new tab and type in miniature books. Glance at the results. Just a brief little browse. Then come back here. I’ll wait.
Okay, you’re back. Is your pulse raised? Is your heart full of longing? Do you feel covetous and greedy as a child with someone else’s shiny toys? I hope you do. Because if there’s one experience that seems to be common among readers, no matter how diverse their desires otherwise, it’s the throb of delight brought on by tiny books.
TINY BOOKS! Why are they so magical, exactly? My theory is that something happens when you take an object that is powerful in its own right and you shrink it down: somehow the amount of power in it doesn’t shrink with it, and so the tiny version is not only just as potent but somehow more so, because there’s this itty bitty thing containing all the vitality and energy of something much larger. That’s a kind of magic. Think of amulets in the shape of animals or human hands or hearts or eyes, like Zuni fetishes and milagros, versus a dollhouse miniature of a table and chair: the furniture might be cute, but tables and chairs don’t mean anything by themselves, so the small version isn’t something you’d carry around with you as a good luck charm or a talisman against evil. But a tiny silver heart, or a minute stone animal, has a special aura to it that comes from the liveliness of the thing it represents – both physically and spiritually, or at least metaphysically – being packed into something you can fit in a walnut shell.)*
Okay, sure, maybe, but whatever. TINY BOOKS ARE AWESOME, AMIRITE? Right. Okay, now do me another favor. Imagine you’re in your favorite bookstore. Or you’re at the library checking out a reference volume. Or you’re a kid at the laundromat picking through the faded, dog-eared romance novels on the one bedraggled take-a-book-leave-a-book shelf. You’re just browsing. Nothing’s leaping out.
And then you spot it. Tucked away on the shelf is an Easter egg. A bright, shiny, brand-new Easter egg.
|An egg like this one! |
By Brianjester (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ],
via Wikimedia Commons