Go Medieval by Attaching a Book to Your Belt

23 Apr

A girdle book held by the Beinecke Library at Yale University.

GIRDLE BOOKS HAD TO BE small, and they had to be light. From the bottom edges of their bindings extended an length of leather, usually gathered into a knot at the end. This extension of the cover could be used to carry the book like a purse or could be tucked into a girdle or belt. To read, the owner wouldn’t even have to detach the book; when taken up, the book would be oriented correctly, just as if it had been pulled from a shelf.

So begins Sarah Laskow’s fascinating report on girdle books. You may read the rest of her Atlas Obscura piece here.

One Response to “Go Medieval by Attaching a Book to Your Belt”

  1. Jocelyn Green April 23, 2018 at 11:45 am #

    What interesting books these are. I love learning details about books – the ways they’re made, illustrated, stored, the way they’re lost over time, the way they’re stolen or censored, etc.

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