Excerpts from an article by the Somerville News http://www.thesomervillenews.com/archives/26182
While miniature books are by their very definition are smaller than other books, they are every bit as collectible as their larger counterparts. In fact, collecting miniature books has become so popular that enthusiasts have even formed a Miniature Book Society.
Oftentimes people think they have a miniature book in their collection, but it is really just a small book, and not a true miniature. Usually, to be considered miniature a book must measure less than three inches, which is why some miniature books do come with a magnifying glass. Here are some examples from the Tara’s Palace Library
Throughout the 1400s and 1500s books were very expensive luxury items that were affordable only to the wealthy, privileged few. Because books had to be portable, mostly for students and people on pilgrimages, they began making them smaller. Some of the books measured four or five inches, but most were even smaller than that. In the 1700s and 1800s, miniatures began to be made mostly as novelty items. They used less paper and they were made in order to be carried or to be used as gifts.
Making a miniature book is very hard work because of the detail involved, but when it’s done right, the result can be truly amazing. Today there are still people who design wonderful miniatures.