14 Unusual Books Of The Past And Present That You Just Can’t Find In A Bookstore Or Library

Books are more than just vehicles for fascinating stories that transport us to other realms. Certain writers and publishers are committed to demonstrating that the art of bookmaking can transcend conventional boundaries and concepts. What’s intriguing is that such innovative experimentation isn’t a recent phenomenon; it has roots in ancient times. The resulting creations of this daring creativity beckon readers to explore entirely novel ways of engaging with text and illustrations.

Round miniature book – Codex Rotundus

Bistum Hildesheim

The “Codex Rotundus,” a small circular book, was crafted in the year 1480. In terms of its content, it serves as a liturgical book in both Latin and French languages. Despite its diminutive size, consisting of a mere 266 pages, its diameter measures just 9 centimetres.

Belt book

National Library of Sweden

The belt book features a clever knot integrated into its cover design. This ingenious feature allows the reader to conveniently secure the book to their belt and read it without having to remove it. The book is positioned upside down while attached to the belt, making for a practical and hands-free reading experience.

Double-sided book

Erik Kwakkel

This unique reverse binding technique was known as “dozado.” “Siamese twins” books, bound using this method, featured two distinct covers. However, in terms of the content and significance of the publication, they complemented each other seamlessly. For instance, this binding style was commonly used for Bibles, with the Old Testament presented on one side and the New Testament on the other, symbolically uniting these two important sections of religious texts.

One of the smallest Bibles in the world

The Guardian

The book measures 5 by 5 millimetres and is bound in leather. It is impossible to read it without additional magnifying tools.


The Georgian House NTS

The children’s book mounted on a wooden leg dates back to the 12th century. Its contents include the alphabet and short texts designed for young readers. What makes this book remarkable is its durability; it could be dropped without concern, thanks to a thin layer of protective material that shielded it from damage, making it an ideal learning tool for children.

Book in the shape of a heart

Dr Lindsey Fitzharris

“The Book of the Heart” is a collection of 83 love ballads. This amazing and creative publication was written in the 1550s at the court of King Christian III of Denmark.

Encyclopedia of Mechanics


This groundbreaking invention marked the precursor to the first e-books. Patented in 1949, it was the brainchild of Spanish writer Angela Ruiz Robles. Her ingenious creation featured a mechanism that enabled users to magnify portions of text and flip pages using compressed air, eliminating the need for manual page-turning, and foreshadowing the future of electronic books.

A cookbook called “Well Done” that needs to be baked


To ensure the text becomes visible and legible, the book should be carefully encased in foil, then put in an oven and baked at 100 degrees for 25 minutes. Deviating from these instructions could result in the entire recipe collection being incinerated. Here’s a culinary challenge for all aspiring chefs.

Designer books in the shape of pistols

Robert The

Mirror book

National Art Library

Published by Circle Press in 1985, this book contains a unique feature—it lacks any conventional text. Instead, it is composed entirely of mirrored pages crafted from foil. The book serves as a medium for self-reflection, for within its pages, you will find no image but your own. This concept presents an intriguing philosophical notion.

The world’s largest book, the height of which reaches almost 2 meters

Eye magazine

It was presented by the Amsterdam merchant Johannes Klenke to the English King Charles II after his restoration to the throne in 1660.

Biography books in the shape of faces

Gerschreven Portretten

Volume books with 360-degree rotation


Japanese graphic designer Yusuke Oono creates amazing “living” books that will be interesting for adults and children to study.

Heat-sensitive edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451


To read the text of this book, you need to bring a sufficiently powerful heat source to it.