⟨ Book ⟩

A Thin Booklet

Thin But Rich

Words / 文心
Translation / Eric Lieu

把手中最後一期的薄簿仔拿起,再次感受到這些紙張的輕盈與強韌。獨立出版的小誌薄簿仔第一至十期錯落有致地掛在白色的牆壁上,就像是把2014年到今年的回憶都晾出來了,乾淨而柔順。如名字所言,薄簿仔是單薄的,它的內容卻恰巧相反;它有絕對的自由,聚集一群朋友,在這些紙張所帶來的空間裡就著不同的主題,表達和分享自己的想法。所以閱讀它時,帶著一種閱讀別人日記、隨想的私密感,是和善的,或許也希望你看懂的,但是如果你沒有看懂,也沒有關係。重要的是,對於一些平日我們熟悉的主題,你有興趣知道別人的想法嗎?「時間」、「左右」、「語言」、「結束」……等等,每一個詞語對每個人都代表著繁多的意義,透過觀看文字及圖像的創作,能窺探別人的腦袋;比起閱讀書本,來得直接、俐落。

當然,我必須坦承,選擇以Risograph為印刷方式的薄簿仔顯得份外吸引。直接印製的螢光紅色、藍色、黃色在紙張上發著光,其中一些文字藏在顏色裡面隱晦得快要看不見,這些種種都透露著絕對自由才能包容的趣味、方式甚至創意。還記得我第一次打開薄簿仔的目錄頁,看到頁面上印了九個工整的方格,看完整本再對照一下,才知道那九個方格是在每一頁框取一塊組成的。那一刻的驚嘆讓我意識到,有很多人每一天都為自己喜歡的事情默默的努力著,未必是我們能發現的。但是如果你發現了,希望你會和他聊上兩句,或者是拍一下他的肩膀,就算是大家在生活中互相鼓勵吧。

Picking up the last issue of A Thin Booklet, I was once again able to feel its light but resilient bundle of pages in the palm of my hands. All ten issues of this small publication were strewn across the white-plastered wall. It was as if memories from 2014 through this year were hanging before me, all pristine and delicate. As its name suggests, A Thin Booklet is physically thin and flimsy, though its contents are anything but. The pages within offer absolute freedom for friends to freely express and share their ideas on a plethora of topics and themes. So when reading through the booklet, it feels as if you’re reading someone’s secret diary entry or spontaneous musings. But the entries are also very inviting. Authors want you to understand they are expressing, though it’s okay if you don’t. The important question is whether you’re interested in knowing what someone else has to say about some familiar topics. Moreover, words like “time”, “left & right”, “language”, and “the end” can mean many different things to different people when they appear on pages in a traditional book. The booklet’s combination of words and pictures allows readers to peer inside the mind of the author in a much quicker and direct fashion.

To be perfectly candid, I have to admit that Risograph’s printing of A Thin Booklet turned out to be particularly alluring. The fluorescent red, blue, and yellow hues shine brightly on the pages. Some of the text also seem to be hidden, almost blended into the colors. All of this speaks to the publication’s absolute freedom which gives free reign to the various tastes, styles, and types of creativity. I still remember the first time I opened to the table of contents of A Thin Booklet. I saw nine perfectly square panels. After reading through the entire publication, I flipped back to the table of contents. I did some matching and found that the nine square panels were actually “screenshots” of their corresponding pages. At that moment, I suddenly realized that there were many people out there under the radar, diligently working towards something they love. You may not always notice their efforts. But if you ever do notice, I hope you’ll offer them some words of encouragement, or pat them on the back. As all of us go about our lives, we should try to cheer each other on whenever we can.