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Former M&A lawyer at Paul Weiss thinks small

Posted Apr 25, 2013 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Retired lawyer Neale Albert has worked as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison involved in billion-dollar deals. But when it comes to his hobby, Albert thinks small.

Albert, 75, has more than 4,000 miniature books “and he may be the most serious collector living in New York,” the New York Times City Room blog reports. Among his collection is a Chekhov short story recognized by Guinness World Records as the smallest book ever printed. It measures less than a millimeter across.

Albert told the Times he has always been interested in small things. He started out collecting miniature African violets. He also likes dollhouses with meticulous details; he first bought small books to furnish a dollhouse library. He is also known for commissioning miniature designer bindings for his tiny books.

Albert’s interest apparently doesn’t extend to reading his collection. The Times asked Albert about the plot of the Chekhov short story, called “The Chameleon.” Albert was surprised by the question. “I don’t know,” he answered.

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