How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants [NOOK Book]

Overview

A hilarious guide to the lost art of artisanal pencil sharpening

"...I am so thrilled David Rees is picking up the reins of the ...
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How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants

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Overview

A hilarious guide to the lost art of artisanal pencil sharpening

"...I am so thrilled David Rees is picking up the reins of the forgotten art of manual graphite-encased-in-wood point-crafting. I love my pencil!"
—AMY SEDARIS

"You may think that sharpening a pencil is easy, but David Rees makes it look hard, and that makes all the difference."
—JOHN HODGMAN

"Truly, my life before I was presented with correctly sharpened pencils by an artisan was a dull and ill-sharpened void. Learn from my mistakes."
—NEIL GAIMAN

Have you got the right kind of point on your pencil? Do you know how to achieve the perfect point for the kind of work you need out of that pencil?

Deep in New York’s Hudson River Valley, craftsman David Rees—the world’s number one #2 pencil sharpener—still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. In 2010, he began offering his artisanal service to the world, to the jubilation of artists, writers, draftsmen, and standardized test takers.

Now, Rees presents a book that is both a manifesto and a fully-illustrated walk-through of the many, many, many ways to sharpen a pencil. Including chapters on equipment, current practice, and modern technologies, it also points at new trends in sharpening, including "Celebrity Impression Pencil Sharpening (CIPS)," a warning about the “Psychological Risks Associated with Pencil Sharpening,” and a survey of "Wines that tastes like pencils."

As Rees implores: "Sharpening pencils should be an activity that enriches the senses."

And if you think it’s a joke, why don’t you poke yourself with your newly sharpened pencil? Or better yet, don’t—because it’ll really hurt.
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  • How to Sharpen Pencils
    How to Sharpen Pencils  

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Almost equal doses of silliness punctuate the earnestness (even the numerous stiffly clinical black-and-white photo illustrations turn out to be mostly visual gags) until Dear Reader is plunged into delicious confusion about whether this is a serious dissertation on a recondite subject, or one elaborate sustained leg-pull, or both. Which could serve as a rough definition of sophisticated satire—an endangered literary form if ever there was one. At heart that's what this book is, and good for Rees for even trying.
—Bruce McCall
From the Publisher
Praise for How to Sharpen Pencils

"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

"This is the best treatise on pencil sharpening (in a sea of none) and diabolically funny. I’ve already alerted the Pulitzer committee." —Library Journal

"This book is really a must-read for anyone interested in pencils. And there are well-placed lines likely to render you, as I was, doubled over in laughter. But what I enjoyed most about Mr. Rees’ book was reading something written with such sincerity by a person who obviously does what he does with care." —Pencil Revolution

"There is a long chapter on how to sneak into someone’s house and smash their electric pencil sharpener with a mallet." Businessweek

“The hand-sharpened pencils sent to me by artisanal pencil sharpener David Rees are without a doubt the MOST EFFICIENT writing instruments in my collection. I use them both for business and for pleasure, as their SLEEK and ELEGANT design coupled with their AMAZING SHARPNESS help make me an object of envy at work and about town. My favorite use for a David Rees hand-sharpened pencil? Sending threatening letters to strangers whose names I pick out of a phone book.”
—MATT TAIBBI, investigative journalist 

"Of all the great artisanal crafts, hat blocking, cobbling, and trolloping, I think I was most disheartened to see pencil sharpening relegated to the dusty bin of history.  That is why I am so thrilled David Rees is picking up the reins of the forgotten art of manual graphite-encased-in-wood point-crafting. I love my pencil!"
—AMY SEDARIS, crafts expert

"Looking back, I cannot believe that I spent so many years of my life mechanically sharpening my own pencils with pencil sharpeners. Truly, my life before I was presented with correctly sharpened pencils by an artisan was a dull and ill-sharpened void. Learn from my mistakes."
—NEIL GAIMAN, writer

"You may think that sharpening a pencil is easy, but David Rees makes it look hard, and that makes all the difference."
—JOHN HODGMAN, comedian 

"Could I sharpen my own pencils? Sure, I could! I could also perform my own dentistry, cobble my own shoes and smith my own tin—but why not leave such matters to real artisans, instead? I trust my bespoke pencils only to David Rees."
—ELIZABETH GILBERT, writer

“The number one #2 pencil sharpener!”
—STARLEE KINE, public radio writer

“David Rees carved away the wood that hides the graphite the way I need to carve away the fat the hides my ability to wear a bathing suit. Thank you for showing me the path, Rees."
—PATTON OSWALT, performer

"One is tempted to call it a must-read for anyone who has ever used a pencil."
Booklist

Praise For David Rees' Get Your War On

“Riotous and principled.”
Washington Post

“Hilariously deadpan fatalism... a surprisingly articulate expression of our anxieties.”
Newsweek

“The Thomas Nast of the internet.”
Comedy Central

“The most original cartoon since... well ever. Raw, enraged, sardonic, hilarious, despairing, and impossible to pigeonhole.”
Rolling Stone

“A glorious excoriation of our post-9/11 loony bin.”
New York Times

“A phenomenal cult hero.”
Variety

“Brilliant.”
USA Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612190419
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 839,212
  • File size: 12 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

David Rees
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

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 13, 2013

    great fun!

    purchased this as a gift for my son, a writer. He gives it high marks

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2012

    My brother-in-law, a pencil sharpener, loved it!

    I saw the author on the tv show Sunday Morning and he was hand-sharpening pencils. When I heard he had a book about it, I knew it would be perfect for Bruce. Bought it. Sent it off to him. And found out that he and his family all loved the book! Successful present. Yes, it is a specialized niche-type thing. But it's kind of neat that someone is taking an every-day thing that we all did thousands of times as kids and is doing it by hand. Yay for old-school ways of doing things!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    How to sharoen pencils

    Get a pencil sharpener put ur pencil in it twirl it around until penciil is sharp. Thatbwas free and didnot cost sixteen dollars

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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