I'm looking for the word or term for a hollowed-out book used to contain objects. I've heard the terms book safe and the colorful term smuggler's Bible, but an acquaintance swears there's a single word for this that he does not remember.

Any ideas? Any other terms? Pic for reference.

enter image description here

  • 3
    Wikipedia calls these "Hollow-book safes" and you can buy them under that name on e.g. Amazon.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 16:09
  • Stashbook, maybe.
    – ermanen
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 7:58

3 Answers 3


The closest single-word answer for you I can find is "solander."

ODO has

A protective box made in the form of a book, for holding such items as botanical specimens, maps, papers, etc.

late 18th century: named after Daniel C. Solander (1736–82), Swedish botanist.

  • Welcome to ELU! This seems a good word, so I added in some corroboration for you. Please do that for your future answers. (Hopefully the downvote your original answer gained will be reversed.)
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 7:49
  • This is not it. This is a box that looks like a book: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ec/…
    – ermanen
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 8:05
  • This was the word my acquaintance was looking for. Not exactly the same thing as a book safe, but I think it's the closest thing that's one word.
    – j.i.h.
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 14:13
  • @j.i.h.: Why do you put a misleading picture if you were not sure what it is then?
    – ermanen
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 21:38

"Hollow book safe" and the like seem to be the only names I can find for such an object. Perhaps your friend was thinking of a steganograph, a message hidden inside a book through the use of invisible ink, a cipher, etc.


Repository. Not necessarily referring to a book per say, but a book safe is a repository of sorts.

Word Reference gives:

repository n (storage place)

The spare bedroom is a repository for all sorts of things we no longer use, but don't want to throw out.

  • 2
    This would be improved with a dictionary definition of your suggested word. Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 18:17
  • The word is unlikely to bring to mind a book-shaped object.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 28, 2023 at 16:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.