Kalle Päätalo's Copy of Aiotko Kirjailijaksi


Kalle Päätalo


Copy of Aiotko Kirjailijaksi by Mika Waltari


Becomes a detailed biography of the reader. Details and memories entice them to keep reading.


Reading final page results in reader's death in the same fashion.



Collected by

Oto Barry and Michael Korss


The Library Section


Reference Section

Date of Collection

May 5, 1978



Kaarlo (Kalle) Alvar Päätalo (November 11, 1919 – November 20, 2000) was a Finnish novelist, the most popular Finnish writer in the 20th century. His Iijoki series, comprising 26 novels, is one of the longest autobiographical works ever written. As a child he dreamed of being a writer and read avidly, and was namely influenced by Jack London's Martin Eden and Mika Waltari's Aiotko Kirjailijaksi, a guidebook for aspiring writers.


When read, all of the book's original text is replaced with a highly detailed biography of the reader starting at birth and ending at death. Each chapter marks one year in the reader's life, with special moments and vivid memories being highlighted. No matter how long the person's life is, the book seems to have enough pages despite its size. Readers will be enticed to read as much as they can, even past the present into their future life. Upon reading the final page, which ends in a description of the reader's natural death, the reader will soon die of the same cause in the present moment. When one person begins to read, the book will remain that individual's biography until either death or neutralization.

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