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How to Sharpen Pencils [Paperback]

David Rees
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

12 Sep 2013
Getting the right point on a pencil is really a matter of skill and expertise. Most people need to know how to achieve the perfect pencil point to match the job. Deep in New York's Hudson River Valley, craftsman David Rees - the world's number one #2 pencil sharpener - still practises the age old art of manual pencil sharpening. How To Sharpen Pencils is a book, a manifesto and a fully-illustrated walk-through of the many, many, many ways to sharpen a pencil. Delivered with pencil-sharp wit and hilarity, this is the authoritative guide to a dying art.

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How to Sharpen Pencils + Palomino Blackwing 602 Pencils - Set of 12 + Palomino Blackwing Long Point Sharpener
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing (12 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612193269
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612193267
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 183,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Review

'From his vantage-point atop Mount Obsessive, Rees is able to see far and wide, and the picture he paints there is both true and very, very funny.' - Boing Boing

'The book is powerfully funny … a stylistic high-wire act, and Rees never teeters.' - The New Yorker

'Dear Reader is plunged into delicious confusion ... gloriously irreverent.' - The New York Times Book Review

'How to Sharpen Pencils has been shortlisted for The Bookseller's Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. The judges said 'A long awaited manifesto to the fine art of sharpening one's pencil. An odd book, an odd title; but there's nothing odd about its inclusion on this year's shortlist. Irresistible.' - The Bookseller
'Everything you need to know about how to attain the perfectly pointed pencil in a manual that is both obsessively serious and deadpan funny, pedantic and philosophical.' --The Guardian

'Can I just recommend a brilliant book…about how best to sharpen pencils by David Rees who is an American writer and cartoonist and he's written a brilliant book, about 200 pages long about the best way to sharpen a pencil. It's one of the most fantastic books I've ever read because it goes into such details about how to sharpen pencils that by the end you suspect it's the work of someone who is going insane…I think the whole book is an exercise in displacement, he appears to be writing about how to sharpen pencils but clearly something else is going on... it's fantastic.' - --Stewart Lee

About the Author

David Rees first came to fame as the author of Get Your War On, a Bush-era comic strip composed from clip-art that he emailed to friends. It was eventually serialized by Rolling Stone magazine, collected into three successful books, and turned into an off-Broadway play. He is also the author of the workplace satire My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable. He lives in Beacon, New York.

John Hodgman (introduction) is the author of the bestsellers The Areas of My Expertise, and More Information Than You Require. He s also known for his appearances in Apple s Get a Mac advertising campaign, and for his correspondent work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like this book 27 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is good.

It has helped me re-kindle my love for pencils. And for wine that pairs with pencils.

What a life saver.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More to this than first appears 16 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Well, as a technical writer, this book caught my attention. I use pencils every day. They are one of my most important tools for communicating. So when this book came along I, like most people, thought it was just another one of those 'joke' books. However it is most certainly not. This books tells you how to sharpen a pencil. This is a task we all have done at some point in our life but have you ever thought about the process? Well this book makes you think about the process. Along the way it also tells you about the world of pencils.

Yes, some of the detail does go too far but at the same time there is an almost zen-like process around this task, very similar to the ancient tea making procedures from China and Japan.

I would recommend this book for anyone who has any 'geek' in them or to any man-servants to wealthy people who have more money than sense and who want their pencils sharpened professionally.

This book made me smile.

David Rees is a nutter but a good nutter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to sharpen pencils 3 Aug 2012
By glo
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is unbelievably informative and amusing. How anyone can produce such a lot of information about sharpening a pencil, I have no idea but David Rees has successfully done so. He deserves acclaim of the highest order!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straight to the point 10 Dec 2012
By Chris Hoare TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I must admit I first bought this as a joke gift for christmas; I skimmed a few pages of the hard copy version and decided I had to read it all on my Kindle. How to sharpen pencils is a light hearted look at the world of professional pencil sharpening. Over the course of the book you are instructed on the correct use of all manner of pencil sharpeners and how to deliver the perfect point to potential customers; or to astound small children.

Its whimsical but at the end of the book I actually googled to work out how much was accurate and found an entire world dedicated to sharpening pencils and pencil sharpeners that cost utterly crazy sums of money.

Its a fun read and worth your time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a joke present for my dad 13 May 2014
By melford
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
But I got really into it. Then he told me he had actually had lessons on the subject and started critiquing the book.
Excellent.
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