Look out for the future, because you never know what it might bring…
Question #80616 posted on 01/22/2015 10:32 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the smallest (width * height * depth) book in the Harold B. Lee Library?

I have searched somewhat on my own, but I believe that the skills of the Board far outstrip my own for these sorts of tasks.

-V. J. M. (Yes, the very same one)


Dear V.J.M.,

Challenge Accepted!

As you probably know, the library has close to five million books,and 98 miles of shelves. Needless to say, I was daunted. Nonetheless, I set out to find what you seek. At first, I expected a long and arduous trek through the miles and miles of stacks. I started on the second floor, and found hope in these "Very Short Introduction" books. They are about 4" tall, 3" wide, and .25" thick. I felt sure that I was on the right track.

I have never been so wrong before.


I scoured the 2nd floor and found nothing else, and hopelessness began to overtake me. As I prepared myself for many more hours of this tedious work, a missive came that was like manna from heaven. Tally M. had sent me a covert tip:  "Look in Special Collections," she told me. Now, I had heard of this place, "Special Collections." I knew it was a place of wonders, and secrets, and it lay exceedingly close to the lair of our great enemies the tunnel worms. (I suspect they control Special Collections to some extent). So with great trepidation I prepared to enter into that cave of caves; that wonder of wonders. Thankfully, as I prepared to journey into the netherlands, I encountered Owlet who joined me in my searching. Together we infiltrated the depths of Special collections...


...Well we tried to infiltrate the depths of Special Collections. At the entrance, we face two surprisingly helpful guards. After speaking with them, we gleaned a great deal of information concerning the smallest book in the library. Apparently, in addition to having a small book collection, containing over twenty cases of tiny books, the library has a copy of The Smallest Bible in the World, which is a microfiche that is smaller than your fingertip. However, we decided we were more interested in the books they had in hard copy. After some goading, cajoling, and threatening, we managed to convince them to bring us their smallest book. Here is what we were shown. 



This was the biggest book they brought out to us. It easily fit in the palm of my hand 


And here is the smallest we found. Wise Kwaks is 2 cm long, 1.5 cm wide, and .25 cm thick. 



It even had jokes on the inside.


We were forced to flee from Special Collections shortly thereafter, as the real enemy had discovered our whereabouts. While we were able to get the necessary photos and measurements, we were unable to find out what Grace is when she overeats. 

As I write this answer, I am forced to ponder on Grace and the things she eats. Why does she eat so much? Does she not know what happens to her when she overeats? Doesn't she know that she needs to save some of that food for the starving children in Africa? What am I when I overeat?

These are the questions that keep me up at night, but I hope you will be able to sleep, now that you have this information. 

Challenge completed.

The Soulful Ginger and Owlet  

posted on 08/16/2018 10:43 a.m.
There is yet a smaller book in the vaults of Special Collections... it is the 1974 knjiga. It is 10 pages long and it is 4x4 MILLIMETERS. That is a .16 inches by .16 inches. TEENY!

Here's the library record:

Here's a link to an auction for a copy a few years back so you can see a pic: