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Peter Pauper, which already attaches charms to most of its books, plans to add an incense burner to its hot-selling feng shui volume and a tiny Native American dream-catcher to its book on that subject.
Meanwhile, Running Press just launched specialfavors.com, a Web site that lets people order customized dust jackets for mini-books that are handed out as keepsakes at weddings and showers.
Among collectors, antique miniatures can fetch up to ,000.
Modern miniatures are also highly prized--if they’re painstakingly crafted by hand.
Other hot topics include celebrity bios, surfer wisdom, pop-up children’s books, Thomas Kinkade artwork, Barbie, pets, inspirational titles (“A Little Sip of Chicken Soup for the Soul”), dieting and a miniature “Dating for Dummies.”Regarding the “Dummies” edition, a Running Press executive once told Entertainment Weekly: “You can take our ‘Dating for Dummies’ mini, slip it into your pocket and refer to it while you’re on your date.
It’s almost like having a breath mint.”The latest fad is the mini-kit, a book that includes some sort of gadget, such as a Tom Thumb-size Zen garden or a tiny waterfall that operates by hand pump.
Nobody we spoke with would admit it, but we’re pretty sure that miniature books are made from chopped-down bonsai trees.
If so, the world’s dwarf forests are in danger of being wiped out because itty-bitty books have become a big business.
This fall, Andrews-Mc Meel Publishing will release mini-books with stereoscopic covers and sound chips (a book on kissing makes a smooching sound; a cookbook says “Delicious” when a button is pressed).
Andrews-Mc Meel also has a volume about friendship that includes a pint-sized blank CD on which to burn a message or song for the recipient.
Barnes & Noble keeps a separate bestseller list for the category. During World War I, Lawrence of Arabia gave lockets containing inch-high Korans and magnifying glasses to the Muslim soldiers who fought alongside him, says Anne Bromer, whose Boston bookshop specializes in antique miniature volumes.