28 October 2005
From A Bestiary of Imaginary Species edited by Nenad Dragicevic: Tomeater
After Gutenberg produced his bibles the scientific community of the day was preoccupied with rumors of creatures living in the binding. They spent many fruitless years looking for them. Five centuries later an archivist discovered a clump of dead insects on some preserved specimens of Gutenberg’s type. Researchers examined the known surviving copies of Gutenberg’s bible, confirming the existence of the tomeater. The insects, tiny, black, and lethargic, hide on printed leaves where they consume the ink. Their life cycle is wholly confined to the page. Tomeaters love biblical verse, savoring every word for years. They reproduce in the periods.