Chat about Chapbooks July 6, 2021

No matter how old you are , you are never too old to learn.

In the past week, I have been putting the finishing touches on my first book of poetry. It will be titled, “Seeing by Touch”. I will send the files to be edited and formatted this week.

The problem was I called the book a Chat book. As a person with hearing loss using voiceover to monitor text, I heard a t not a p in the word chapbook. A kind person in the self publishing industry set me straight.

Chapbooks have an interesting history. They were first printed in the late 16th century. They were sold by peddlars known as Chapmen. The term ment tradesmen or a book trader.

The book or pamphlet was a small and had no cover. The length was around 24 pages. Topics in the books were ballots, poems, romantic tales, legends and moral instruction.

The common population was exposed to the printed word with the printing of bibles in the early and middle 16th century. With the rise of literacy, the people wanted books that were entertaining and inexpensive . Printers developed the chapbook form.

I will keep you informed on the progress in this adventure of writing and self-publishing.



The Bookworm

The book lay at the bottom of the box.

With clothes and food thrown on top.

A chapman was trying to make a sale.

But the older buyer, was hard to please.

The chapman reached deep into his pack,

pulled out the book, without cover or back.

A tuppence is all I ask.

The buyer looked , then started to laugh.

I see there is a reader here before me.

In the binding, a larva was plain to see.

I’ll take the book and have a friend to read with me.

Carol Farnsworth

copyright 7/6/21

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