Say you don’t know how to change a tyre, paint in watercolours or operate a crane? Well I guarantee you there is a book for that. How to books date back to the do-it-yourself movement started in 1912. At this time they were mostly related to house improvement and handy-man activities. The phenomena soon spread to all sorts of things from craft to auto mechanics. Of course do-it-yourself has been a concept around a lot longer than when the term entered popular culture in 1950. In 2012, Italian archeologists uncovered a 6th century prefabricated greek-style temple complete with a how-to put it together instruction manual.
At the time of writing this article there are 625,747 books in Amazon.com with “How-to” in that title. According to Google, in January 2015 the top 7 searches for DIY projects were looking for Do-It-Youself: 1) closets, 2) wedding invitations, 3) shelves, 4) bars, 5) heaters, 6) jeans and 7) lamps.
Here are a few of interesting do-it-yourself or how-to books I uncovered. I’m sure at least one of them will come in handy for your own particular project needs.
How to tell if your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by Andrews McMeel.
A whimsical look at life with a cat. The book is mostly cartoon illustrations taken from TheOatmeal.com website. If you’ve got a cat you’ll know all their ploys to get your attention (especially when you are on the computer). This book includes instructions for patting your kitty and 17 things worth knowing about your cat.
How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog by Chad Orzel
This book looks at the complexities of quantum physics by explaining how a dog could use quantum mechanics to better tunnel through fences or chase squirrels. Its a clever way to present quantum mechanics to the rest of us using fun examples that are memorable and practical (if you happen to be a dog!)
Do-It-Yourself Coffins by Dale Power
“Here’s one project you will not want to put off till tomorrow” is the catch cry for this book. Written by a woodworker and experienced craftsman, this book does actually teach you how to make coffins in three pet sizes and 3 human sizes complete with decorative etchings.
Written in 1898 the book starts with a quote from a newspaper reading “A great many husbands are spoiled by mismanagement. Some women go about it as if their husbands were bladders, and blow them up; others keep them constantly in hot water; others let them freeze, by their carelessness and indifference. Some keep them in a stew, by irritation ways and words….” It continues by suggesting that you wouldn’t treat vegetables this way and therefore why should husbands be treated so poorly.