Nonfiction Ways to Enjoy National Hobby Month

The Hub, as you know, is your connection to teen reads. And we tend to focus on fiction. But since January is National Hobby Month, we couldn’t let the month go by without sharing some terrific nonfiction books, magazines, and websites that may encourage you to take part in various hobbies.

WreckThisJournalcoverFor journaling, scrapbooking, and generally awakening one’s creativity, it’s hard to beat Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. Not generally found in libraries (for obvious reasons), this book shows you that it’s OK to write in, tear pages of, and generally mutilate a book…as long as it is this book, and it belongs to you! Smith’s cheerful instructions will lead readers to get over the preciousness of their pristine journals, and to unleash the wild side of their brains by spilling coffee on pages, making art from found objects, and thoroughly engaging their creative process. Here are some great Wreck This Journal images found on Tumblr. And if you’re an app addict, catch the review of “Wreck This App,” an app based on the book, over at the YALSAblog.

WeekendKnittingCoverKnitting is eternal. Our great grandmothers knit, and now, there people are knitting (and crocheting) amigurumi animals, Doctor Who scarves, and cell phone cases. Weekend Knitting: 50 Unique Projects by Melanie Falick and Ericka McConnell is not for the novice knitter, but if you enjoy knitting and can read patterns, this title offers inspiration, gorgeous photos, and fun projects to tackle. From mittens to washcloths to sweaters to handbags, this is not your great grandmother’s knitting book.
Maker spaces are sprouting up all over the world and encouraging people of all ages to do some DYI and make stuff. While there are plenty of DYI books in the world, you might want to consider looking at MAKE magazine for inspiration. MAKE has been around for ten years and they offer ideas, instructions, and encouragement to people who want to mess around and geek out. While 3D printing and electronic components such as the Arduino microcontroller and Raspberry Pi computer get a lot of press, MAKE doesn’t neglect more “traditional” crafts such as woodworking, papercraft, sewing, photography, and gardening. They really do have something to interest everyone.

RaspberryPibookCoverCoding is getting a lot of press now, what with STEM initiatives and the general pervasiveness of computers in our lives. People are playing video games more than ever (Yes, even you. Have you played Candy Crush or Words With Friends? Then you’ve played a video game.) and many want to learn how to create games. Python for Kids by Jason R. Briggs, Scratch 2.0 Programming for Teens for Jerry Lee Ford, and Raspberry Pi Projects for the Evil Genius by Donald Norris are all great books that can show teens, or anyone, how to get started in programming, or in making their own computer, robot, or automated gerbil feeder. (A Raspberry Pi is a wonderfully adaptable little computer, you’d be amazed what people have done using it.)

EasyBeadingCoverBead Style Magazine is constantly circulating at the library where I work, so it’s no wonder that Easy Beading, a collection of the best projects they offer, is such an attractive, smart, and helpful book. Beading seems simple on first glance – put beads on a string, done – but there are knotting techniques to learn, a myriad of fasteners to use correctly, and looping, stringing, and spacer beads to consider. If you love jewelry, and want to make some eye catching pieces using your own two hands, this book (and it’s sequels) are great resources to turn to for help and instructions.


Do I have to mention Pinterest? Would I be remiss if I didn’t? Go to Pinterest, look at all the eye popping images there and get ideas for jewelry, clothing, fine art, crafting, photography, sculpting, make-up, cooking…you name it, someone has a Pinterest board for it covered in amazing photos that will make you think “Hey! I can try that!” Just beware, Pinterest is as bad as YouTube for making you fall into a time-trap.

Exercise is another hobby many people enjoy, but there are so many exercise books out there, I wasn’t sure where to start. Help me out in the comments! What is your favorite exercise book and why?

~ Geri Diorio, currently reading Ninety Percent of Everything by Rose George

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