These New Books Can Fit in the Palm of Your Hand

Recently, Penguin Young Readers introduced a brand new format of books on Oct. 23, called Penguin Minis. These new books are small enough to fit inside the palm of one hand and open horizontally instead of vertically. The minis are advertised as being similar in size to a phone and being able to read with just a flick of your thumb. As a self-proclaimed book nerd, I couldn't resist trying out these new books for myself.

Penguin partnered with John Green to release their new mini series. He allowed for them to reprint his books: The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. You can buy each book individually or all of them together as a box set. Since I'm a poor college student, I opted to buy an individual book. I chose An Abundance of Katherines because I haven't heard or seen any spoilers (yet!).

What I liked:

I’m in love with the size of the book. It’s so cute and tiny. The mini can easily fit into a small purse or even the back pocket of your pants. This was convenient for reading on the bus or while I was waiting on line at a store. I can also see the minis being great for gift exchanges or stocking stuffers.

Because of the small size, I was worried about readability, but the font is around the same size as a normal novel. I also found I enjoyed the horizontal format. Flipping the pages did feel similar to scrolling on my phone.

Reading with one hand was difficult at first, but after some practice, I got the hang of it. Having a free hand was convenient for eating, drinking or holding the bar on the bus while I read. It also made me feel cool, like "everyone watch me read this book with one hand."   

What I didn't like:

I was not a fan of the price. I paid $12 for my copy of An Abundance of Katherines from Barnes & Noble. To buy the whole set it would have been $48. I was expecting smaller books to equal a cheaper price; however, with the holiday season approaching, I do expect that there will be sales and the price will go down. I already noticed that you can buy the whole box set for $27.17 or the individual books for around $10 if you have Amazon Prime. 

Since the mini book series is new there is not a lot of variety in selection. I understand Penguin choose to use John Green because of his popularity, but I would have preferred if they included different authors or genres. I love fantasy stories, so I would definitely be interested if they had stories like Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Flame in the Midst series.


I would give Penguin’s mini-series a 9/10. I liked how I could easily fit the book in a small purse and read it while I was on the go. I took points off for the lack of selection and the price, but I think those are things that can be changed. I look forward to seeing seeing if Penguin will continue with the new mini books.

[Photos by Author]