One of America’s top pencil bloggers has written a comprehensive review of HOW TO SHARPEN PENCILS:

There are great illustrations that are genuinely useful, if you wanted to understand your pencil and your sharpener down to a science. Graphics like “Irregular pencil points — a taxonomy” shows you five results of an improperly sharpened pencil. He goes into some detail to explain how to avoid pitfalls that result in these types — this is actually useful, people!

I’m getting very excited for my nationwide pencil-sharpening tour.

Talk to you soon — on my internet blog!


Hello, blog readers!

I’m happy to say that my new book HOW TO SHARPEN PENCILS will be published on April 10! Can you believe it? I almost can’t.

Friends, this exhaustive pencil-sharpening manual is a valuable addition to the craftsman’s home library and will be the definitive guide for generations of pencil enthusiasts. It features a foreword by John Hodgman, lovely photographs by Meredith Heuer, and 18 chapters, including:


The book is based on my experiences running for the past two years, in which time I have sharpened more than 475 pencils for clients around the world! (If you’re one of those clients, thank you for your business!)

Here are some computer links for pre-ordering the book from robot bookstores:

or …
or …

(Of course, it is my preference as an artisan that you buy the book from your locally sourced bookseller.)

To promote the book, I am embarking on a NATIONWIDE PENCIL-SHARPENING TOUR. More information about this tour will be forthcoming.

For now, I hope you will consider ordering the book! Need I say it makes a lovely gift?

Many thanks for your interest,
From your friend with the blog,
David Rees

My Latest Blog Post

Hi everybody! I’m sorry I haven’t bloggered much lately. I just got back from JoCoCruiseCrazy II, a Caribbean nerd cruise organized by Jonathan Coulton. It was really fun! (I will try to find photos on the internet to share with you.)

I have a bunch of shows coming up this spring, most of which are devoted to promoting my pencil-sharpening book, which will be published on April 10!!!

Hmm. I can’t really think of anything else to mention right now. But I’ll be back soon, blogging harder than ever.



We’ve put together a fun show for Thursday’s installment of LOLLYGAGGIN’. Please join me (David) as I host Max Silvestri, Jacqueline Novak, and other funny guests. We will join forces in laughter or my name isn’t Buster Brown, aka “The Cell-Phone Communicator.”

Friday Face-Offs: Party In The USA — WINNER!

Do you like books? Are you, like me, the son of a librarian? Are you a fan of shameless pro-book propaganda? And most importantly, do you like synthesizer noises from beyond the eighth dimension?* Then you will enjoy this week’s WINNING FFO VIDEO:

Look how hard those kids are chillin’ with their books at (1:13)! How do you not love those poses? Basically, this video represents one librarian’s dream of a TOTAL BOOK RIOT. “Got my book out / I’m reading for fun / laughing out loud again”

(*You’ll know when you hear it.)

BOOM! Books take first place this week! Friday Face-Offs = reading for fun!

Okay, that was Friday Face-Offs “Election Fever Edition,” aka “Party In The USA,” aka “Newt Gingrich wants all these kids to work as janitors.”

Have a great weekend!

FFO #1

Friday Face-Offs: Party In The USA – 3rd Place

FRIDAY FACE-OFFS! Do you like hardcore music, tough guy? Then you like this:

This band is called SWAG SO CRAZY, and they are more hardcore than your most favorite-ist most hardcore band. (Check out the sign they made — you can see it on the bass drum.) Also check out their amplifiers; I wish I could sprinkle fairy dust on them so they would grow 1,000 times in size and bludgeon us with their sounds.

(Sometimes I’m reluctant to include videos like this in FFO competition, lest people think I’m having a laugh at kids’ expense, but I actually sincerely dig this version. It’s soooo specific, you know? It makes me happy — all music performed in school cafeterias makes me happy, because it reminds me of being a kid and grappling with pop music and electric guitars for the first time, which is exhilarating, and that’s why Rick Santorum has my vote because he was the original drummer for Die Kreuzen and not many people know that, but it’s important.)

Friday Face-Offs! ONLY TWO VIDEOS REMAIN! Who will be President, and who will be Vice-President? Only time will tell …

PS: Does anyone reading this remember Old Skull? I just read a Wikipedia article about them and it made me sad.

Friday Face-Offs: Party In The USA – 4th Place

I only hope Newt Gingrich realizes that when he builds his high-falutin’ American colony on the moon, these dudes will be waiting to greet him:

“Greetings Lord Gingrich — we have slumbered on this lunar landscape for 10,000 years; now we welcome you with our version of humanoid Miley Cyrus’s immortal Party In The USA!”

And Gingrich is like, “Oh no, are you Chinese people? I wanted to colonize the moon before the Chinese astronauts got here!”

And these guys are like, “No, we are obviously indigenous Moon Soldiers; can’t you see our uniforms?”

And Gingrich is all, “Oh, right. Well, do you guys at least believe in the socialist-secular tyranny that threatens the very foundation of American greatness?”

And they’re like, “Dude, we’re literally playing Party In The USA on xylophones ‘n’ marimbas ‘n’ whatnot ON THE MOON, what more do you want from us?”

Boom! Newt Gingrich just got serrrrrrved, moon-marimba style.