Medieval Book is Actually Six Books In One

Medieval Book is Actually Six Books In One

These days, having six books with you at one time is effortless with a Kindle or a smartphone in your pocket, but in medieval Europe, carrying multiple books was a little more challenging. Perhaps that is why dos-à-dos (French for 'back-to-back') binding was invented. Most dos-à-dos books were simply two texts bound together with a common back cover, allowing for easy flipping between the two.

But sometimes two books isn't enough, and maybe three isn't quite enough either, or four, or five. Over at his blog, book historian Erik Kwakkel showcases a stunning volume that is an impressive six separate books bound into an intricate dos-à-dos (or would that be dos-à-dos-à-dos-à-dos-à-dos-à-dos binding?).

The book, a collection of devotionals from the 1500s, is in remarkable shape for its age and its unorthodox structure. For more pictures of this and many other oddities of bookbinding, take a look at Kwakkel's blog.

Sean May

News by Sean May

Sean May is, among other things, an author, journalist, graphic designer, video game fanatic and feared but charming space pirate (one of those isn't true, but which one?). His fiction work has appeared in Crimefactory and other publications, and his music journalism can be found at Has It Leaked?. His novella, The Case, and a short story collection, Crimewave, can be found on Kindle. Sean lives in Carmel, IN with his wife and a cat.

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Frank Chapel's picture
Frank Chapel from California is reading Thomas Ligotti's works January 29, 2014 - 1:31pm

that's awesome


SammyB's picture
SammyB from Las Vegas is reading currently too many to list January 29, 2014 - 5:09pm

That is so freaking cool. It is also gorgeous. Look at that detailing on the cover and pages!