Insight & Analysis

Italian man uses ‘mirror writing’ to copy 81 books backwards

Published: Jan 2023

An Italian man who used a technique known as “mirror writing” to type copies of 81 books now holds the Guinness World Record for the most books typed backwards.


Michele Santelia, from Campobasso, in the Southern Italian region of Molise has copied 81 books by working backwards and creating a mirror image of the original text. The languages he has typed in include Hieroglyphs, Old Hebrew, traditional Chinese, Mayan, Etruscan, Cuneiform and Voynich glyphs.

Santelia used four blank keyboards for each project and he codes the keys to the language for any particular project. Amongst the books he has typed backwards are copies of Epic of Gilgamesh, the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Code of Hammurabi, the Bible and some of Leonardo da Vinci’s writings. His projects also include a copy of the Guinness Book of Work Records 2022!

Santelia claimed he was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, who was well-known to use mirror writing in his work.

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