I'd have done a how-to for that one but it's so simple I think someone must have already done it. I took my enormous art history textbook from college, cut & glued 1" foam to the spine and front, and cut out the notches with a wood burning tool. Painted everything blackish blue-green, then used gold Rub-N-Buff on the raised parts and page edges. Done. I considered adding details or filigree but much of this book will be obscured when I am done. The translator will be chained to it, sitting idly on his latest messy transcript, resting his evil head on inky hands.
Poor little guy. You should let him use your computer, or at least get him a typewritter. I can hear his thoughts now. "If that guy would just learn the f*%&ing language maybe I could get promoted out of this ^&*&^$ job!?!?!"
This is great! You really didn't have to add the "Woe is me", because the pose just screams it - so much I kinda had to laugh at him, lol. The setting you've created is excellent - I wish I had thought of something like that. Great job and great prop -