As is often the case in blogging, venturing into one rabbit hole leads to a cavernous cave of multiple rabbit holes, where you can easily get lost for hours on end. Such was the case with my recent posts on Japanese book design, which led me to the discovery of Miyako Akai’s magical miniature books.

Often constructed in sizes no larger than the tip of a finger, Akai’s mame-hon or “bean books” – as they are called in Japan – made her a star amongst the miniature book community. In 2006, she was awarded a distinguished prize from the Miniature Book Society (yes, there is an organization for everything). When asked why she prefers miniature books to full-sized, she said: “When you give someone a miniature book it seems a lot more personal than when you give them a large one. It’s like the difference between a normal speaking voice and a whisper.”

Ironically, a recent venture into the world of full-sized publishing was a book on how to make miniature books.

Below are shots of one of her more recent titles, “Rainbow.”