You better put on your reading glasses for this one.
A Vancouver artist and author has just been awarded the Guinness World Record for the smallest book ever printed. The tiny tome measures a miniscule .07 millimetres by .1 millimetres (for perspective, .1 millimetre is roughly the width of a human hair). It consists of 30 micro-tablets and requires an electron microscope to read.
Appropriately enough, it’s a children’s book titled Teeny Ted from Turnip Town. Teeny Ted wins a turnip contest in the county fair. The sing-song text teaches children about measurement and scale, everything from nanometres to light years, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.
The creative mind behind the book is local artist Robert Chaplin, a sculptor, writer, designer and publisher who has a history of creating unusual works of literature. He’s already created a unique “book” consisting of a toilet plunger inscribed with a bathroom poem, which is catalogued in Canada’s national library. He’s also printed 10,000 copies of a matchbook book – actual matchbooks bearing International Standard Book Numbers.
If you’re hoping to get your hands on a copy of Teeny Ted from Turnip Town, don’t hold your breath. There book cost $20,000 to produce and requires a scanning electron microscope to read. It was etched into a piece of crystalline silicon by scientists at Simon Fraser University using a focused ion beam. According to the Vancouver Sun, it currently resides inside a high-security vault. Plans are to make 100 copies of the microscopic children’s book.
Chaplin does hope, however, to eventually print Teeny Ted in a more accessible size. He’s currently raising money on the fundraising site Kickstarter to pay for printing, binding and shipping.