This was a Christmas gift from my friend Tim, and a very Tim sort of present. Tim is a non-fiction reader primarily, and a do-it-yourself person. I thought this book would sit on our coffee table for some time being picked up and read slowly, but in fact I enjoyed it so much I finished it in about a week.
It’s a large trade paperback, 11 by 14 inches, and over 460 pages crammed with information and photos, in a format something like the old Whole Earth Catalog, but with blocks of color for each article to make reading easier. I didn’t read it all, and there were many topics that I skipped, but there were lots I did find full of informative and even entertaining reading. “Tools” is defined very broadly by Kevin Kelly to mean anything one uses to do or make things. It goes far beyond physical tools, including such topics as Self-Reflection, Sleep, Systems Thinking, Career Advice, and on and on. For instance, on the topic of Comics there’s a full-page article on Scott McCloud’s “Making Comics.” This really is a very complete resource and most articles include a QR code for quick online access if you have a QR reader on your phone. I found Kelly’s own articles to be well-written and there are many articles written by others as well, usually either an expert or someone who has researched the topic for their own interests. I might add that this book is entirely self-produced and self-published, not a small feat.
So far I’ve ordered three things found inside that I didn’t know about. One has not worked for me so far, one has worked excellently, and one has yet to be tested. I expect to use this book as a resource many times in the future.