Pretty much any craft book that I find in any of the three library systems I use, I check out. Yes, I work at one library and still frequent others because the collections vary. For example, my favorite book about scrapbooks is still Scrap City, but only one library system has the book in its collection.
My sister lends me her Creating Keepsakes magazines so I have recently reviewed all of the 2007 issues and noticed that CK is almost equal parts content to advertisements and the content they do provide is on the thin side, in my opinion. But I am a tough sell, if I am spending my money on something I want some serious bang for the buck!
When I first started scrapbooking 10 years ago, it was more like photo collages. I look at my first book and now think what a hot mess! But everyone evolves. Plus, I ran across a relic in the collection, Becky Higgin’s The Art of Creative Lettering. It was published in 1999 and made me realize even the pros have some skeletons in their crafting closet. This book is so hokey it is a good example of why people used to think scrapbooking was “kountry kool.”
My thing with any scrapbook magazine or book published in the last few years is wanting to know how to use products and techniques for how they arrived at the finished layout. There are plenty of web sites with posted layouts if I just want to browse and not learn any techniques or if I want to keep making stuff like I did 10 years ago! But a book like Focal Point: New Page Ideas And Techniques to Showcase Your Favorite Photos, which is divided up by techniques and explains how to use packing tape transfers, blender pens (xylene), printing on iron-on transfer paper then iron it to textured paper and various other ideas is right up my alley!
I one I used to not include was journaling, I only put captions. Now it is not just about slapping the photos of a life event onto a page, it is about photos and stories that capture all the moments in life. Which is why I can see the appeal of books like Toddlerhood: Scrapbooking Your Childs Early Years that remind readers to scrapbook a page about little one sitting with grandpa, doing her bedtime routine or a favorite toy. If it seems like it is too much to be able to scrapbook all the routines moments of life along with the bigs ones, while making every page look magazine publishing-worthy, then maybe the books from Cathy Zielske and Simple Scrapbooks are for you. They show how-tos with tools and products along with the layout ideas, which are clean and simple. At least looking at books, you feel like you can crank out a few pages in a couple hours.
One last fun book I enjoyed was Making the Most of Your Scrapbook Supplies because who does not want to keep on using all that is in the craft stash rather than just the hot trendy item of the month?!
In my aStore, I added a bunch of other books I have already checked out or am on the library holds list. As I say, try before you buy, go to the library! Please note, if your library does not have the book, ask if there is no charge to get it through interlibrary loan (ILL) or if you can recommend a purchase. For all you know the librarian doing the ordering (or collection development as it is called) might share your interest 😉 By the way, if the book is spiral bound, it is less likely to make into a library collection (because of how easily the pages can tear off).