One of the many reasons I listen to audiobooks is because I knit. It is difficult to manage a print or ebook when you have knitting needles in your hands or you are looking at a pattern on a tablet screen.
Knitting patterns are not difficult to find online. In fact, many amazing patterns are free or inexpensive through the web. This doesn’t stop my knitting book collection. I find it harder to resist a knitting book than any other kind of book. Why? I may want to knit something from it some day. In fact, the best books have at least one project that I knit often. For example, one book has this super cute baby bib pattern that I made for all the baby girls born in my circle of friends and family.
Most books are selected for their potential projects. I went through a phase where I would sit in the crafting section of local bookstores and flip through knitting books. I would buy one every month or so, especially if a pattern called to me. Then there were the few years of Book Expo when I got quite a few for free.
So, here is what would happen. Publishers would bring tons of books for both giving away and displaying. The display books were not given away, but if you were very nice and there at the end of the last day, you may be able to snag display copies. One large publisher of knitting books typically brought their complete catalog of books for people to look at. They were rarely touched during the event, but it looked amazing on a bookshelf display. For three years I made them my friends. I love their books, I had a few of the popular ones, and I give their books as gifts. I was also often there for signings of other crafting books. I would chat with them. They would see me over and over. They did not want to ship those books back to their offices. The less they had to pack up, the happier they were.
I was always very happy to take the books off their hands. At that point in the conference I had always shipped my box of books home already. I would get on the bus with my bags full of knitting books. It’s not like I had room since I always had the books I couldn’t bear to part with for even a few days, the books that had come with me, clothes, and, oh yeah, the knitting project I was working on. One year Christi was with me and we each devoted an additional carry on bag to our knitting books.
It was heaven.
Ever since then it has been harder to buy knitting books, but I still do when it makes sense. Most designers build a collection on line to gain fans and then put out a book. A bunch of mine are autographed because I meet the designers at events. I keep them in my spare bedroom/craft room. I even put library cards in them so I can potentially check them out. Not that my knitter friends need more books themselves.
For me, these are more valuable than professional books or text books from college and graduate school. What about you? Are there a certain type of book you buy and find useful even if the collection is not always used?