Professor Wu's Rulebook

Literary oddities: the book that makes you solve a puzzle before you can turn each page

The Codex Silenda – brainchild Brady Whitney

As mind-boggling literary challenges go, there are a fair few books for you to choose from. You could navigate your way through the odyssey that is Joyce’s Ulysses, you could put your biggest hipster hat on and work your way through Wallace’s Infinite Jest, or you could try to solo your way through One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez. Alternatively, you could try your hand at this fascinating little oddity we’ve stumbled upon during our general exploration of the creative world: the Codex Silenda.


Created by puzzle designer Brady Whitney, this wooden book has only five pages – but it may well still take you a good deal of time to finish, since you’ll need to solve a complex mechanical puzzle on each one before you can turn to the next.

Made entirely of laser-cut wood, the short story within the Codex Silenda is about an apprentice in Leonardo Da Vinci’s workshop who stumbles across a similar tome, except the version they find is actually a trap created by the artist that you’ll need to help them solve in order to escape.


A Kickstarter campaign to fund the mass-production of the books has already far surpassed its original US$30,000 target. Whitney and co are now creating the codices for their Kickstarter backers, aiming to deliver the first books in May 2017 – after which point they will begin taking orders once again. If you’re keen not to miss out, you can sign up to the email waiting list to hear news on when the next Codices will become available.

As literary oddities go, we hope you’ll agree that this is a good one. We’ll be sure to keep bringing you more, so keep your eyes peeled for more examples of the weird and wonderful!


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