Toolness and Coolness

There’s a kind of fun I have referred to elsewhere and when as “practical fun.” I define it as “The fun of collecting practical advice, hints, tips. Vast collections thereof.”

And there’s this book called Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities – a big, Whole-Earth-Catalog-size book (compiled by Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and, by no coincidence at all, co-compiler of the original Whole Earth Catalog) heavy with information and inspiration with 463 full-color pages cataloging tools that are so cool it doesn’t matter if you ever use them or buy them – just reading about them is fun enough. It’s what you might call a coffee table book, if you have a strong enough coffee table. If not, you might consider purchasing (or at lusting after) some classic hand tools (see pp. 62-7).

So, OK, if fun of the more traditional definition is what you seek, there’s the play section (415-425), but that’s not even a 40th of the fun that awaits you. It’s DIY kind of fun, the same DIY kind that the Whole Earth thing was all about, but it’s heavier, and up-to-dater, and more carefully organized and indexed and illustrated, and in color, and at least as inspiring as it is informative, and it has nothing to do with how useful all this information might eventually prove – it’s the sheer fun of the sheer vastness of it. Practically the largest volume of practical fun ever bound into one colorfully illustrated, lovingly written, QR-codeful, clearly organized, caringly curated, over-abundant collection of sheer toolish coolness.

Comments
  1. Laura says:

    03/04/2014

    My life shares some odd synchronicities with yours Bernie. Like requesting the same book to review. I love that we’re reading the same stuff!

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