The Secret Life of the Pencil Book

Special thanks to Laurence King for sending this book to me for review.

The Secret Life of The Pencil: Great Creatives and Their Pencils is a killer little art book with photos of artists, designers, writers, and other creatives' favorite tool. About 75% of the book is photographs, the rest is selected interviews with some of the subjects about their favorite tools. While none of them are pencil "experts" (one claimed to switch from pencils to ink for writing his novel manuscripts because he was worried about archivability...we pencil people know it's the other way around!) they all express love for their tool of choice and its place in the process.

Some famous names you might recognize: James Dyson, Stephen Fry, Dave Eggers, the late Mike Leigh, Zandra Rhodes...the list goes on. It somewhat skews towards UK-based creatives because that's where the authors are from.

From wood cased pencils to mechanicals, colored pencils to china markers, and even makeup pencils, this is a lovely book that has some awesome closeup photography of my favorite mark maker. The best part about it is that most of these pencils are in various stages of use and abuse. There are paint blobs, cracks, teeth name it. A surprising amount of awesome hand-sharpening There are a few mechanical pencils that are taken completely apart and photographed that way. But there is hardly a "perfect" looking pencil here, and I find that to be awesome.

Check out the official website for more info on the book. It comes out this coming Tuesday, Oct 31st, but you can pre-order it now on Amazon.

Available on Amazon, $13.60 at post time, $14.99 MSRP.