Where does the idea for an ebook come from? Some technology dreams are much older than we think. This cool late 16th century dos-à-dos book is really special as it contains six books. Erik Kwakkel writes:
These are very special objects consisting of usually two books, which were bound together at their, well, backs. When you were done with the one book, you would flip the object and read the other. The dos-à-dos book you see here is even more special. Not only is it a rather old one (it was bound in the late 16th century), but it contains not two but six books, all neatly hidden inside a single binding (see this motionless pic to admire it). They are all devotional texts printed in Germany during the 1550s and 1570s (including Martin Luther, Der kleine Catechismus) and each one is closed with its own tiny clasp. While it may have been difficult to keep track of a particular text’s location, a book you can open in six different ways is quite the display of craftsmanship.
The book is in the Swedish Royal Library which has a very nice Flickr set demonstrating the book (and many others).
Six books in one. Not only six books one after another but six different books. Very cool. Sure, it’s still bigger and bulkier than my ebook reader but this is a bibliophile hipster’s dream.