Souvenir Sunday: miniature books and travel-sized items

Each Sunday here at is Souvenir Sunday: a day to take a look at some of the fun, inexpensive souvenirs you can find at airports.

AYP Novelty Shop from UW Libraries, digital collection

This week: fun, inexpensive and tiny things to bring to the airport and on your trip.

A friend heading to India (lucky duck!) was seeking suggestions for three weeks-worth of titles to load onto a borrowed Kindle.

E-books are certainly the modern way to lighten your load, but in the past avid readers might have chosen to pack miniature books instead. Perhaps some of the books described in a recent blog post by a special collections cataloger at the Smithsonian Institution.

Diane Shaw writes that the Smithsonian’s collection includes more than 50 miniature books, each three inches or less, and calls them “practical as well as whimsical,” and “easily tucked inside a wallet or pocket.”

Miniature book at Smithsonian  Institution

That sounds perfect for traveling.  Especially the tiny treasure titled Witty, Humorous and Merry Thoughts, which is in a metal locket-like case with a magnifying glass in the cover.

Miniature book at Smithsonian

Book photos courtesy Smithsonian Institution

But  why stop with books? Perhaps you already travel with a collapsible umbrella, a tiny alarm clock and TSA-friendly toiletries and cosmetics.

Here are few other items to consider:

Orikaso makes foldable, incredibly light and thin mugs, bowls and plates that, when not in use, are flat pieces of Greenpeace-endorsed polypropylene.

folding tableware

Bamboo markets several sizes of these collapsible Silicone travel bowls for pets.  But since the bowls are made from FDA-compliant materials and are PVC and BPA-free, I suspect they’d also come in handy for use by people too.

collapsible pet dog bowls

All sorts of games, from Mahjong and Monopoly to Candyland and Cribbage, can be found in travel-size versions.  And then there are some of the items for sale at sites like

In addition to the classic travel-sized personal care, cosmetic and pharmacy items, the site carries single-serving food items and useful pocket-sized survival items such as mini-rolls of duct tape, light sticks and space-age emergency blankets.

emergency blannket

Have you found a great, must-have travel-sized item?  Please share your tips here.

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