The inimitable T.C. Skeat wrote this in 1990:
"In Scritti in Onore di Orsolina Montevecchi, Bologna 1978, pp. 373-376, I published a note entitled "Was re-rolling a papyrus roll an irksome and time-consuming task ?", in which I described experiments with rolls cut from rolls of wall-paper, on the basis of which I concluded that re-rolling a roll was much easier and quicker than had been supposed, and that the secret lay in letting the roll do the work of rolling through its natural tendency to roll up. I assumed that a roll of papyrus, having been rolled up at the time of manufacture and kept constantly rolled up except when opened for the purposes of writing and reading, would have possessed the same tendency to roll up, but of course I had no means of proving it. Now the proof has come to light in a surprising way. Among the great find of papyri at Dishna, not far from the better-known Nag Hammadi, were a number of papyrus rolls. The owner of one of these rolls tried to unroll it, but found that the papyrus began to break. He thereupon immersed the roll in warm water, after which he found that he could unroll it without damage either to the roll or the writing. He left it unrolled, and five minutes later the roll had rolled itself up. It is surely remarkable that 1500 years or so after its manufacture a papyrus roll should still retain its capacity to roll itself up and thus completely confirm the results of my experiments."
T.C. Skeat, "Roll versus Codex - A New Approach?" Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 84 (1990): 297.
When working through some textual variants in Revelation, I was reminded of such rolling up. The correct text in 6:14 reads:
καὶ ὁ οὐρανὸς ἀπεχωρίσθη ὡς βιβλίον ἑλισσόμενον
'and the heaven vanished like a scroll being rolled up'
[The variant reading ἑλισσόμενος would mean that the heaven is rolled up.]
The wall-paper illustration of Skeat is telling - the rolling up happens quickly, which is partly why the metaphor is used by John in the first place.