Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of speaking to a class of second graders about my pencil-sharpening business. These kids GOT IT. They UNDERSTAND what I am DOING.
I showed them photos of antique pencil sharpeners in my book:
We reviewed the parts of a pencil:
I even let them look at some of the sharpeners in my toolkit!
Overall it was a very nice visit. The only thing that made me mad was when one of the kids asked how much I charge per pencil; I said, â€œHow much do you think I charge?â€ and one kid yelled, â€œFive dollarsâ€ and I made a pained noise. Then another kid said â€œOne dollar?â€ and then some wiseacre said â€œtwenty-five cents?â€ I raised my voice over the din and said, â€œFIFTEEN DOLLARS PER PENCIL!â€
I sharpened a pencil for the class and bagged the shavings and told them to charge other classes a quarter to look at it and to send me the money every Friday.
There are great illustrations that are genuinely useful, if you wanted to understand your pencil and your sharpener down to a science. Graphics like â€œIrregular pencil points â€” a taxonomyâ€ 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 â€” this is actually useful, people!
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:
– SHARPENING A PENCIL WITH A POCKETKNIFE
– PSYCHOLOGICAL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH PENCIL SHARPENING
– MASTERING CELEBRITY IMPRESSION PENCIL SHARPENING (CIPS)
The book is based on my experiences running ArtisanalPencilSharpening.com 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:
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.”
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.”