What happened to all the wood working books?

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Forum topic by Tennwood posted 11-02-2011 02:27 AM 1621 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tennwood's profile


112 posts in 3175 days

11-02-2011 02:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource books question

Just wondering if anyone else had noticed the drastic decline in available wood working books at the remaining large book dealers? We have a Books a Million and Barnes and Noble in the area and both have drastically reduced their selection on wood working books. BN is down to one partial shelf where just a year ago they had 3 – 5 shelves. BaM is almost as bad. I know the book dealers are going through hard times (the ones that are left that is) but it seems a bit drastic. Or are there just not enough sales on this subject to make it worth their while? I know I can buy most of the available books on line, but it is sure nice to flip through it before spending $20 to $40 on a book that I may not like.

-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

14 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


6928 posts in 2592 days

#1 posted 11-02-2011 02:34 AM

You may check out, they sell used books really cheap. $3-6 good condition, free shipping. Very good selection, I have ordered several. Overall very happy.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3642 days

#2 posted 11-02-2011 02:39 AM

a combination of both – the economy in general, and woodworking book sales in comparison to other genres add to that that you can find most any resource online today mostly for free there is less demand for printed materials.

I am a big online user, but still found several physical books I decided to purchase even though I already read them and have the ‘soft’ (PDF) version of some:

The HandPlane Book (Garratt Hack)
Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking (3 volumes) by Tage Frid (surprising I know)
The Workbench Book (Christopher Shwartz)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View YanktonSD's profile


190 posts in 2525 days

#3 posted 11-02-2011 02:44 AM

The book stores are really suffering in this economy and more content is being found online. Even Amazon is cutting into their profits. I recomend Google books.

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3189 days

#4 posted 11-02-2011 02:46 AM

Our Barnes and Nobles only has 3 woodworking books(TOTAL) in the craft area.

However, I recently discovered while on a trip with my wife for her to buy some more romance novels that the best place to buy or browse through woodworking books was at Half Priced Books, If they have one in your area you may get some great deals. The one near me has almost an entire bookcase devoted to woodworking/turning/pyrography/carving/intarsia.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Cornductor's profile


208 posts in 2660 days

#5 posted 11-02-2011 02:56 AM

I use my local library. Depending on how big your city is the selection may a little to a vast choice. Just today I checked out The Woodworkers Guide to Pricing Your Work. I also just turned in Bandsaw techniques and Router tips and tricks. Granted I owed the libary some overdue fees “3.00” but that’s because I just forgot to renew them for another 3 weeks.

-- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4210 posts in 2555 days

#6 posted 11-02-2011 03:37 AM

I try to buy used book and magazines here on the website.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View tazray's profile


33 posts in 2392 days

#7 posted 11-02-2011 05:41 AM is a good place to buy all kinds of books.

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2976 days

#8 posted 11-02-2011 06:05 AM

i think B and N, is making a mistake. i buy books or magazines from my woodcraft store. but i would rather buy from b&n, because of the discounts they give,and other items to look at.slow economy is the time to be bold and aggressive and expand. not recede.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3302 days

#9 posted 11-02-2011 06:10 AM has a very good selection

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2633 days

#10 posted 11-02-2011 06:26 AM

Our Books a Million has a fairly decent selection, but with the forums, internet sites and Youtube, etc. the books end to become somewhat redundant. With those resources, I would think one well-rounded book for each of the different disciplines that a person is interested in should serve well as reference materials.

Part of the draw of woodworking (to me) is the fact that none of it is rocket science, though there’s plenty to learn and skills/techniques to conquer. IMO, design and finishing is the real challenge / difference.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4320 days

#11 posted 11-02-2011 02:02 PM

Even before Borders announced they were closing I had noticed our local store’s woodworking section had dwindled. I don’t think they were replacing any books as they were sold.

Then again, if I had the cash to actually purchase some of these books…

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3079 days

#12 posted 11-02-2011 03:35 PM

Most stores are using a computer generated order list that is based on sales, if the books are not selling fast
enough to generate income, they are not replaced. I am lucky in that Missoula has a Book Exchange, used
book store that has a good assortment of books that seem to continually change as well as a B&N, a good
Hobby store as well as a good library, you can use interlibrary loans to get books from other libraries for little
or no cost.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View helluvawreck's profile


31019 posts in 2860 days

#13 posted 11-02-2011 04:20 PM

The internet dealers have a big overhead advantage over the brick and mortar book stores. In the coming years the publishing industry will be going through a big revolution. Books will be more and more published in the e-book type. With Ipad and Kindles, etc. it will be a different world. Amazon, Ipad, Kindles, etc. will all be publishing books. The big time old fashioned publishers are going to decline and even go out of business. So are the brick and mortar book stores. However, small, unpublished writers are going to have a field day because they will be able to get people like Amazon, Kindel, Ipads and others to publish their books and will be treated much better than what the big shot publishers treat the small writers with no name. In the near future the small woodworker will be able to have his books published if he’s ambitious enough to produce the book. Look for the big brick and mortar colleges and universities to go into decline. Look for the schools like Devry and Phoenix to be on the rise. A great many people have been priced out of the traditional educational markets. The people that run these brick and mortar institutions are out of touch and out of control with their double digit increase in tuition costs. Print magazines and Newspapers also may be going the way of the dodo bird as well. Technology marches on as the saying goes. Climb aboard or get out of the way because time marches on for the worse or the better whichever the case may be.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 3360 days

#14 posted 11-03-2011 04:54 PM

The big box book stores really don’t cater much to us woodworkers. Woodcraft usually has a decent selection of books and our local Woodworkers Guild has a decent library. But I buy most of my woodworking books from Amazon and a lot of them used.


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