Not much up these days. I did go on a book-binge, though, and bought two books (with 40-50% coupons) about page design and one with prompts in it about writing about yourself (that has beyond-crappy page designs in it).Book of Me
- This is the one a bunch of folks on my scrapbooking list were going on and on about, so I went to Borders and ordered it, which was a dumb thing to do. I *should* have gone to Amazon *first*, and looked through the pages. Although the personal prompts in it are fine, there really isn't a wealth of self-questions and thought provokers. And more than that, although I know the scrapbook design isn't the main thrust of the book, the examples given are just awful, badly designed and done in some sort of Midwestern Unsophisticated design philosophy.What About the Words?
- This is an interesting book. It's full of ways to integrate text/thoughts/emotions/details in word form into your scrapbook page. There are lots of examples by different people with a wide-ranging variety of styles. The pages shown hang together a lot better than the ones in the Book of Me. The examples are funky, balanced; and the ideas within them are good ones. Clean and Simple (the sequel)
- This book turns out to be an epiphany of clean graphic design coupled with great ideas for writing about yourself and the moments that actually mean something to you - and that it's okay to NOT scrapbook every single photo you take from an event. (that's my biggest failing) and that you don't have to use tons of junk on your page. All that stuff (tages, doodads, stickers, etc) is purely stylistic, and not really necessary. (but I know of people who live for that stuff). I've already starting thinking of a few great ideas for the *details* in my life that I can document - like The Search for the Perfect Purse. I mean, who *hasn't* gone on that quest?
For scrapbooking, there seem to be a few schools of thought. One school of thought is to use scrapbooks as a documenter of one's family, with little cute notations and quotes, but with little genuine emotional content. The other school of thought treats scrapbooking journalistically - basically as biography with photographs and design and tons of emotional content.
I've done it both ways - with family albums (two so far) that detail events, mainly, but little of my actual presence. And in another book, about the Fandom Nomads and our adventures. But I didn't really write too much about how I felt about it all; mostly about the events.
On another related front, I bought a book called The Plot Thickens
by Noah Lukeman. He's an agent in NYC. The book's subtitle is "8 Ways to Bring Your Fiction to Life". It's got some interesting stuff in it mostly in the form of questions about character, ratcheting up suspense. I haven't gone into the book deeply yet; it's not really an instruction manual like many of the other "how to" books I own - it's more of a "Here are some things to think about when you're designing your characters, and why you should think about these things" kind of book.