It looks like he was making a copy of it. The process he was doing it is like how one would make a copy of a photograph before the digital era. Apparently he was copying the story of Snow White and Rose Red, specifically the part where they cut the dwarf’s beard off. This was just recently released in some promo shots for an upcoming episode where they are cutting Grumpy's beard.
I’m curious to know if Henry spots anything different in the book.