The Chat Books

The inspiration for these little books comes from trivial conversations about insignificant matters. Like the ones you overhear without paying attention to what is actually said. When you try to recall they seem quite uninteresting, sometimes absurd. I have written eight lapidary-style dialogues for the characters Me and You. The text is in Swedish (PRAT means Chat). The themes are 1:8 STRUNT (nonsense), 2:8 BOLL (ball), 3:8 SPÖK (ghost), 4:8 TYST (silent), 5:8 SMÅ (small), 6:8 RYMD (space), 7:8 PUNKT (point), 8:8 SLUT (end).

The books contain only text pages. I have used a toy set of rubber types and composed each individual line by hand. Lines were stamped one by one a slip of paper (handmade cotton) so that when folded it became a signature of 16 pages. It was a frustrating job. If I stamped a line on a wrong page or misspelled words I had to start all over on a new slip.

Pages are 33×43 mm. Each book has 80 pages. On the front cover is an ink drawing, specifically designed for each book. The back cover is plain black. The spine is made of a piece of textile wall paper. For the textblock inside a white hand-made cotton paper stock is used. The inside of the cover is an ordinary paper stock that was run through an offset printing press for cleaning purpose. I have kept it for forty years because I liked the subtle shading of the red ink.

box completed

Each book is kept in a matchbox consisting of a box and a slider. The box is wrapped with a hand-printed paper made from simple handheld stamps that was laser cut from digital artwork. The slider is made of coloured paper and the title on front and back is hand-printed with the same kind of rubber types as on the text pages.

I completed this project in September 2018. This is my second miniature book project, after the Lady Books (1st version) from the year before. My achievements in the craft of book making is still on a beginners level – I am only emulating the real thing. But I have improved my skills and knowledge since September.