Its not uncommon knowledge that books can be the source of a great deal of information. It helps that I love to read — even just the act of reading. That is, if I’m eating, I want something to read. I’m happy to read the cereal box if that’s all there it. Its very nearly a compulsion. Fortunately, it doesn’t go the other way, wanting something to eat if I’m reading.
Years and years ago, I remember asking a very old friend of my mom’s (as in they had been friends a very long time) how he knew what to read and how did he find so many good books to read. We both had an interest in China and I was amazed at the number of books he’d gathered on that topic (current trends, history, culture). He showed me how he starts with one book, perhaps someone recommended or it was found somewhere, that was good and went to its foot notes/end notes/references. He would look up those books and decide what he wanted to read. Then, from one of those books, he would sort through the references to find other books. I suspect that eventually you’ll have a list of all the books on the subject.
Homekeeping books are much the same; I will sort through and search out any books referenced in a book I enjoyed and found profitable. Unfortunately, most of the books referenced by these books are old, out of print and, possibly, rare. But really, that’s where amazon.com comes in handy. sort of. I like that I can see of those who looked at this item also looked at that item. But that is depending more on the opinion of the masses rather than an educated opinion, I think. I am always open to exploring more books and I’ve always got my eyes open for other homekeeping books that would have good information.
The other down side of the homekeeping topic is that the books all pretty much say the same thing, though the pictures are different, or the context or perspective is a bit different. The trend in the United States these days seems to be personalization, so that if something isn’t speaking to your specific situation, its of no use to you. Poppycock. Its worth developing the reading skill to be able to understand what someone is actually saying because you will find in many topics, everyone is saying the same thing. They are just using different words.
Enough of that soap box, I think.
There are several homekeeping books that I have found very useful. Some I have reviewed in the past, though I plan to run through them again in this project. The old reviews can be found here (http://mamarachael.wordpress.com/book-reviews/).
Of course, now I see the books I haven’t reviewed.
Homekeeping books seem to have two different niches that different books try to fulfill. The first niche is the general reference guide for caring for your home and belongings. Home Comforts and Martha Stewart Homekeeping Handbook fall this niche. The second niche is the ‘how to do it’ sort of guide. These books present a method (of sorts) on how to go about keeping house. Large Family Logistics and Sink Reflections are these sorts of books. There are a lot of ebooks that will fit, for the most part, in this second niche. Finally, there are books that are a subniche, e.g. The Naturally Clean Home. She covers how to make your own cleaning solutions, which fits nicely in the reference guide niche, but doesn’t cover all the topics that the larger reference guides cover. (I want to cover web based sources in a separate post.)
If you happen to be roaring and ready to go, check your local library for any of the books I’ve mentioned. I plan to cover the reference guides, their uses and their failings, in the next post. After that, I’ll cover the how-to-go-about-homekeeping books. Then I will cover the various web based resources I’ve come across. I will NOT be exhaustive, as there is SO much out there and, yet, I have so little time.
Until next time, keep on.