Said to be the first example of a portable, miniaturized selection of books
, this 17th-century traveling library toured England and was reportedly commissioned by William Hakewill, MP., who liked it so much he made several more.
The miniature library was contained in a wooden case, bound in brown turkey leather, disguising it as a large folio volume, containing three shelves of gold-tooled vellum-bound books.
Now it may not be backlit or be able to use Wi-Fi, but back in 17th century England only four families were lucky enough to have one.
Stella Butler, University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection, said: 'The Jacobean travelling library - one of only four made - dates from 1617 and is one of the most curious items in the Brotherton Collection. The miniature books are contained in a wooden case disguised to look like a large book. It's essentially a 17th century e-book reader such as a Kindle.'
Is there a good "briefcase 'o books" you can buy nowadays? You can get plenty of sets, for sure, including miniature encyclopedias and classic fiction, but none are designed to travel.
Sara Varon is co-creator, with Cecil Castellucci, of Odd Duck, the 2013 outstanding kids' picture book, and her latest solo venture, New Shoes is a brilliant reprisal of the themes from Odd Duck: camaraderie among eccentric animals, charming small-town life, fascinating technical details, humor, and beautiful, engaging illustrations.
Steven Brust is a literary treasure and his longrunning Vlad Taltos series, now nearing its final volume, is a good example of where his strengths lie: hardboiled plotting, snappy dialog, weirdly realistic and plausible depictions of magic, and a sensitive eye for power relationships and their depiction, all of which are on display in his latest, outstanding novel, Good Guys, about the minimum-wage sorcerers who investigate magical crimes on behalf of a secret society.
In honor of the Library of American Comics' publication of For Better or For Worse: The Complete Library, Vol. 1 (Volume 2 is out this summer), we are delighted to publish this essay by Lynn Johnston, contemplating the nature of writing a serial for decades and how she might approach her life's work today.
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