A Very Dangerous and Worthwhile Book: Cool Tools

by Erin on January 6, 2014

Trust me, you really want this book:
Cool Tools cover
It’s Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities, and it’s the book version of the Cool Tools blog, spearheaded by Kevin Kelly (who is all cool, all the time).

Why do you want this book in book-form? Because it contains 1500 personal reviews of cool tools. Not insert-your-favorite-online-store-here type reviews, but the kinds of reviews that only come from repeated, considered use of a tool. And the tools themselves? A cool tool is (as laid out on the very first page):

Anything useful
That increases learning
Empowers individuals
Does work that matters
Is either the best
Or the cheapest
Or is the only thing that works

The definition of “tool” is broad enough to include Goodwill Online Auctions (super-cool), Amazon’s almost-secret 1-800 customer service number, and an encyclopedia of Russian criminal prison tattoos (which I suppose could be a tool given the right chain of horrific circumstances).

I think you, Dear Reader, will want this book because it’s decidedly for makers (it’s not called “Cool Stuff,” after all). Every page will help you be a better maker (or just help you make your life better). What makes it dangerous is that it is also full of ideas … if you do not think of five new projects on every page, you are reading with your eyes closed. (The “Construction Materials” section nearly sent me into a projectgasm. Check out Strong-ties, which Kelly calls “he-man K’NEX”.) And don’t even get me started on the “Organizers” section … and I still found things I didn’t know about in categories (like Sewing) where I think I have a good grasp of the cool tools. (Did you know there is KEVLAR THREAD? Soon, my buttons will be BULLETPROOF.)

Why do you want this book, rather than just browsing through the blog? Because it’s HUGE — roughly 11 x 14. It’s the kind of book that demands that you sit on the sofa with someone else (preferably a kid) and chat about possible projects while you page through it together. (Protip: mark pages with post-its for easy recall later — there’s a good index, but post-its mean you don’t have to remember the name of whatever doohickey caught your fancy.)

So, grab this book when it comes back into stock (supposedly this week or next) and then go to town. (And send me links to your projects!)

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne January 6, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Sounds super cool!

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Virginia January 7, 2014 at 12:34 am

Darn it! I was meant to be on a budget! :-)

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waterbear January 20, 2014 at 12:29 am

I thought you had stopped blogging, ’cause when I type in your address or click your home page button, I always get the party Party Dress! post. To get my fix I decided to explore older posts by clicking on Recent Comments and that took me to the Cool Tools post, so clearly there is at least one more recent post, but that is not where the home button or dressaday address takes me. [insert confused expression]

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Erin January 20, 2014 at 5:44 pm

That’s so weird! (I also have a confused expression.) Could it have been cached?

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uiscechick January 20, 2014 at 6:50 pm

It’s happening to me too no matter what device I use (ipad, iphone, laptop). It always goes to the party dress and I have to click on another post to see anything else.

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Erin January 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

I did just upgrade to a new version of Wordpress … can you let me know what browser you’re using? (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera?)

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Hannah January 22, 2014 at 12:31 pm

This is happening to me too, and I use Chrome.

waterbear January 25, 2014 at 2:17 am

My browser is Safari with Maverick OS, but I think it has been the same on my other computers, some PC w/ IE, some Safari w/ Mountain Lion OS. Today when I typed in the the URL http://www.dressaday.com, it brought me here, as did clicking the home link on the Party Dress! post. If this is your last post, then I think it is working properly now. (But then :( because no newer posts!)

uiscechick January 20, 2014 at 9:52 pm

I’m using Chrome on my pc and safari on the i devices.

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Erin January 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Thank you! I will figure this out … sorry for the hassle!

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Sandra February 26, 2014 at 12:39 am

Yup, here too. Glad you’re “back”!

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