How to Sharpen Pencils by David Rees – Book Review

There is a lot of required reading for my classes. On top of that, I also keep a pretty long reading lists of books I want to read for fun. How to Sharpen Pencils by David Rees, was not on either of those lists.

I had heard about this book through a few other pencil blogs, but did not really have much of a desire to read it. I mean, really? A book about how to sharpen pencils? How difficult could that be? However, after seeing a few videos of David Rees, and the documentary No. 2: Story of the Pencil, I realized that I had to read this book. His personality in these things were equal parts dry and hilarious. The statements he made were profound, but also incredibly goofy. So, I went to my local public library, and checked out a copy.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! There are chapters devoted to different methods of sharpening pencils, as you would expect. Ranging from a handheld pocket sharpener to a electric sharpener (spoiler alert: he doesn’t like those) there is a chapter for all the methods you can think of, including a pocket knife.

However, thrown in there are also incredibly ridiculous and hilarious chapters, like “Psychological Risks Associated with Pencil Sharpening: Assessment and Coping Strategies”, and “Mastering Celebrity Impression Pencil Sharpening (CIPS)”.

Overall, this book was an entertaining and fun read. Warning though, there is some coarse language and crass jokes in this book, some of which some people may not enjoy or appreciate. However, if you want a short, funny book about everyones favorite writing utensil, give this book thought for your next read.

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