The Book List #20

September 17, 2014

The Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, And Online by Kari Chapin
year: 2010 | pages: 224 | rating: 3/5

I am a little skeptical of these types of small business books especially when they are geared towards the handmade market and I only read this in preparation for a couple of blog post ideas. I have to be honest, The Handmade Marketplace would definitely provide a very useful resource for anyone thinking about or just starting a new handmade business. While there were a few bits of advice I completely disagreed with, this book covers quite a few areas (like pricing for wholesale and taxes) other books skip or gloss over. There are better business books out there but The Handmade Marketplace is a good resource for reading on contemporary selling methods.

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz
year: 2003 | pages: 265 | rating: 2/5

Our assumption that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction is explored by Barry Schwartz in this book on "the paradox of choice." Schwartz argues there is a point at which choice becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being; to support his argument, Schwartz draws on scientific research and studies, interviews, and suggested reading. The argument is a good one: excessive choice can result in decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. While I was intrigued enough by Schwartz's social critique, I found what could have been a succinct proposition turned into an incredibly long ramble that took up far too many pages. If The Paradox of Choice was 100 pages shorter, it would have been a far more interesting read.

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
year: 1980 | pages: 394 | rating: 3/5

A book that will completely divide opinions; A Confederacy of Dunces is an American "comic masterpiece," a classic farce full of characters you hate to love and love to hate. The book's protagonist, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a hugely obese and obnoxious man who is horrifically rude to his mother (and pretty much everyone else) and I couldn't help but like him. I relished every cringe-worthy, shockingly foul and unpleasant word that spilled from his mouth and I couldn't wait to find out what this idiot would do next.

{ the book list #1-19 }

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  1. Good post. I will read those books in the future :)

  2. Interesting reads. I'm considering reading The Handmade Marketplace but I often find that these types of books are very centered around selling in the US/UK markets (depending on where the author lives). Do you think it's also the case for The Handmade Marketplace?

  3. The only book I've heard of here is "A Confederacy of Dunces" which I've had on my shelf for a while - looks like I'll have to move it further up my 'to read' list!

    Bramble & Thorn

  4. i am curious, are there any creative seller type books you've read that you've found genuinely useful, or would recommend to any/everyone? i consider myself a bit of a newbie when it comes to selling my actual own stuff and i don't have the funds to be spending on books that aren't going to be of much use would rather invest in book(s) that i can actually learn from.

  5. Out of those, at least by your description, I'm mostly interested in A confederacy of Dunces, I think I would probably also end up liking the protagonist, he sounds like my cup of tea, to be honest. Thank you for adding a new book to my rapidly growing to-read pile. x


  6. Annabel9/17/2014

    I was thinking about reading A Confederacy of Dunces, I do like a book that divides. Plus I just know I'll like Ignatius!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

  7. Well The Confederacy of Dunces has been added to my book list. I wouldn't mind reading The Paradox of Choice as well but I just have this feeling that I would get bored.

  8. It's one of those books I ended up skim reading because Schwartz ends up repeating himself and simply bulking out the book unnecessarily.. it could have be a lot shorter than it was.

  9. Ignatius is so utterly idiotic but I just couldn't help but be amused by him!

  10. He is a ridiculous human being; it's not often you find such a hideous character that is so likable! I'd recommend reading it.

  11. I totally hear you; if I'm honest, the majority of REALLY useful advice came from The Design Trust and especially The Indie Retail Academy. A lot of these types of books are really focused on the handmade community and I'm not really into that, if I'm honest. Although I have read quite a few books that you can snippets of advice from.. more on the creative front than business advice.

    Since there isn't really one book I could recommend, I would suggest definitely reading The Indie Retail Academy blog, there is A LOT of very useful business advice and I learned a lot from trawling through the archives!

  12. It definitely divides opinion - I loved it but you might hate it! I hope you don't though :))

  13. There is a lot of useful advice (if you're new to selling) which applies to all markets, whether you're in the US or UK or elsewhere. But the tax advice is very US specific and there is quite a bit of advice I would disagree with. I would suggest reading The Indie Retail Academy blog instead of buying this book :))

  14. Awesome - let me know how you get on!

  15. Thanks Sophie! I'll check it out :)


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