the thread I'm talking is this http://www.refractivesoftware.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2502
he explains he had to do that for all the books he has (who said that culture wasn't space consuming?).
A simple way (or how I did it, enrico if you have a better approach, please share, I'm not the greatest "skinner" around) is to choose a tileable number of objects (4 in 2x2, 9 in 3x3, 16 in 4x4....) pick their textures and make a bigger texture with "space" for all the textures that are going in, say you original textures are 1024x1024 (or you normalize them in any case) and you have 9 objects you'll need a 3096x3096 new texture, then you arrange orderly your textures inside, now you have the texture map. Then you resize all your models uvmaps to a fraction of it's size depending on the array (for this example say 1/3), in max you do so applying a uvxform modifier, and remap their uvmaps moving them to the new position, again, in max you add a uw unwrap modifier and selecting each one move them their corresponding fraction. And there you have, 9 models 1 texture map, a little slow the first time, but quite easy after that.