. . . or xylotheks as we love to call them apparently, though whether this term should be restricted only to collections of wooden books, or to wooden books themselves isn’t altogether clear to me. The OED provides no help, ignoring the word. The Passive Voice tells us Atlas Obscura has done a piece. The PV link doesn’t work, so here’s a link to Atlas Obscura. Part of the purpose of xylotheks was to illustrate the use of various woods: one of the illustrations at Atlas Obscura shows a bookcase full of different wood samples each representing a different tree. “In these constructions, each book in the xylothek was made out of a particular type of wood, the spine covered with the corresponding bark and decorated with associated moss and lichens. Once opened, the book would reveal samples of dried leaves, flowers, seedlings, roots, and branches, with a special compartment in the spine holding a written description of the species’ biology and use.”

a1-2-640x480Hyperallergic gives a nice review to Ms Dubinsky’s exhibition of blooks at the Grolier Club — till March 10th — several of which are wooden books of course.