Books have the capability to transport the human mind to a faraway land and uncover its secrets one page at a time. Other ancient books have been known to hide secret manuscripts, cryptic messages and even directions to the elusive ‘Ark of the Covenant’ within its covers. However, one Twitter user has unraveled another mystery about books that’s been hiding in plain sight.
Twitter user Chris put up a video with one of those books whose edges look golden. And once he held them at an angle, the internet collectively gasped to know that that wasn’t just for show.
Did you know some books have secret paintings on the edges of their pages that you can see by aligning them just right?? 🤯 pic.twitter.com/nwVKf8Eilm
— Chris 🎬 (@illucifer) September 5, 2018
I think we’ve seen books like these with golden edges dozens of times in various book shops around the world. But none of us stopped to think why. The art of painting the edges of pages is known as fore-edge painting and at present, it’s considered a critically endangered craft.
Netizens were surprised by this reveal and immediately wanted to buy books with artwork such as this.
1. Amen to that!
56 years on this planet, yet not too old to learn new stuff every day…. https://t.co/ophGJkSZvR
— graham downie 🇫🇷🏴 (@cognacproperty) September 7, 2018
2. The good kind?
What kinda Black Magic Fuckery is this? https://t.co/QknoxDrW3V
— Christina Mead (@_ChristinaLove_) September 7, 2018
3. Very carefully.
How in god’s name was this done? https://t.co/f8ZJX7QNCF
— Electron Microdope (@Gerry_Dorsey_) September 6, 2018
4. The only kind of boner that’s permissible in public.
This has given me a huge mind-boner https://t.co/7MOXmaIIEE
— peacockpete (@peacockpete) September 6, 2018
5. *puts on a brown hat, jacket and a whip* Let’s find out.
Wonder if that’s the key to finding Alexander the Great’s tomb 🤔
— Dojan Bramwell (@DojanBramwell) September 5, 2018
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7. Yes, yes and yes!
Oh come on! Like all the lovely words and the smell aren't good enough, books do this too! https://t.co/Z2DF9tv327
— Mags Campbell (@writersblock08) September 6, 2018
8. It won’t be as good.
9. Appropriate reaction.
“Writing a book wasn’t hard enough, so I embedded a secret painting.”
I… what… wow. https://t.co/lE5z41oxdh
— Alex Chan (@alexwlchan) September 7, 2018
While most of the internet were coming to terms with the fact that this was real, a rare few shared their knowledge about fore-edge painting.
1. Say what now?
For the White Book Volume 1, if you angle the pages in a certain direction, the secret image of a crying lawyer with a speech bubble saying 'How much?!' Can be seen. For Volume 2, no image, just a plaintive 'My other volume gets used'. https://t.co/wXjT8fI5cM
— John Bates (@MrJohnBates) September 7, 2018
2. Pretty cool? That’s frigging awesome!
— 𝗛𝗶𝗹𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗮 (@hilscosta) September 6, 2018
3. Perks of being a medievalist.
As a medievalist, I knew this of course.https://t.co/kXkouiSN5M
— Mark_Alden (@Mark_Alden) September 6, 2018
Owning a piece of painting serves nothing more than being a showpiece in your house. However, this is like a two-in-one offer. You get to read a book and in your past time, you get to admire a badass painting. So, go on and build your collection of fore-edge paintings.