Get a Hobby!

PBN Get a Hobby! Book Review

There’s a new book out there for grown-ups that at first glance reminds me of The Dangerous Book For Boys.  It’s got a short introduction and two-page overviews of over a hundred fun activities or hobbies to explore.  It sounded like a real kick, and I was excited to take a look when the Parent Bloggers Network asked me to review this book.

Get a Hobby! 101 All-Consuming Diversions for Any Lifestyle does what it advertises, which is to present short blurbs on a wide variety of activities.  From composting to stargazing to seed trading, if it’s interesting and it’s a hobby, it’s probably in there.  The book is an interesting browse, and it really is amazing to see the bredth of activities that adults occupy themselves with.  Get a Hobby! is such a wide-ranging book, however, that it doesn’t have room to present more than a paragraph about each hobby, a bit of history, a short list of websites and other resources, and maybe a diagram or interview with a hobbyist for each activity. 

The book begins with a 1 page forward, 1 page introduction, and a 19 question test.  I was really interested in the test, thinking maybe I’d find a new interest based on the 19-dimension classification system that the book uses.  Unfortunately, the test is 1-dimensional.  Each question is in essence a filter for whether or not that attribute (“adventurous,” “crafty,” “patient”) applies to the reader.  The end result is a list of adjectives.  Then each new activity is introduced with the highlighted adjectives at the top of the page.  I would have really liked an index that sent me to the ones that were a good match … maybe an accompanying web site will spring up that will use the set of selected adjectives to send the reader directly to suggested activities?

Get a Hobby! is a book that means well, but it may just be a book for a different audience — say, people with more time on their hands than ideas they’d like to implement.  Want to see for yourself?  Go visit PBN and leave a comment on their launch or mid-campaign posts, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a copy of the book and a $100 gift certificate to Michael’s!

P.S. I almost totally forgot.  Note to authors: Astrology is not a hobby; it’s a lie.


4 responses to this post.

  1. re: Astrology–I thought that exactly thing when I read the little section about Tarot card reading. Isn’t that supposed to be a skill you are born with (supposedly), not something you can learn after reading a few paragraphs??


  2. Actually, star charting (the part of astrology that ends with sayings like “your chakra is in the red house with Venus rising” — wait, that’s not right) you can learn. We actually DID learn star charting in my Astronomy 101 course, years and years ago, as a lab activity. I’m still not sure why, but it was an amazingly intricate procedure, and the result is a graphical representation of where all the planets were at the exact time of your birth. I kept mine. Not for the astrological value of course, but cause I really liked knowing where the planets were!

    The activity made me wonder why anyone who would/could go to all that trouble wouldn’t be fascinated by the REST of science.

    Tarot cards, though? No idea. How is it different from Eucher?


  3. Kyle and I are cackling our heads off about the astrology business. Right on!


  4. […] You can either start leafing through the list, or take the Hobby Personality Quiz to get an idea of which hobby traits fit you best.  The problem a few reviewers found is that “the book does not go the next step needed to spoon-feed me my dream hobby by cross-referencing my traits to the hobbies.”  Another blogger echoed this comment and made a novel suggestion (Ms. Barseghian, are you listening?):  “I would have really liked an index that sent me to the ones that were a good match … maybe … […]


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