Thursday, September 17, 2009
Today my advance copy of Rustic Furniture Basics arrived in the mail. I have also been asked to do a review of Matthew Crawford's book, Shop Class as Soulcraft for a magazine. It is an awkward situation. I love Matthew's book, and highly recommend it. but I would like to point out the difference between an intellectual inquiry and a good how-to book. With the inquiry, you, the reader may remain unmoved, except to chalk it off on the "books I've read list" and the writer may never be actually tested on the accuracy and significance of his intellectual position.
When you make something from a how-to book, you are dependent on the actual experience and accuracy of portrayal of the author. If I give you the wrong information, something unworkable, then I've really screwed up. What would have made Matthew's Book better would have been for it to offer specific concrete solutions to what ails us as a culture and economy. An action plan... but then I guess that's why you would come here. Cook, garden, sew, make, care, care for, nourish and by all means pay greater attention to your hands.