Girdle Book: Monk, Girdle, Book of Hours, Consolation of Philosophy, Book-Binding, Turk's Head Knot, Vade Mecum, Almanac, Bookbinding
– 28 nov 2010
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Girdle books were small portable books worn by medieval monks, clergymen and nobles as a popular accessory to medieval costume, between the 13th and 16th centuries. They consisted of a book whose leather binding continued loose below the cover of the book in a long tapered tail with a large knot at the end which could be tucked into one''s girdle or belt. The knot was usually strips of leather woven together for durability. The book hung upside down and backwards so that when swung upwards it was ready for reading. The books were normally religious: a cleric''s daily Office, or for lay persons (especially women) a Book of Hours. One of the most well known texts to become a girdle book is Boethius''s Consolation of Philosophy, although it is the only surviving philosophical/theological girdle book. Women especially wore the girdle book out of convenience since it was already fashionable, at least in the 15th century, to wear a girdle belt above the waistline. A book secured on the girdle belt served both the utilitarian function of enabling hands-free carrying and protecting valuable books from theft and the elements.