Below is a list of books I have read, absorbed and recommend. From repairing sinks to opening a business, these are the books that have helped me shape a happy healthy life - I hope they can do the same for you!
Remember, life is about the journey, not the destination. Enjoy yourself, be yourself, and prosperity will follow!
Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert t. Kiyosaki
This is one of the first books I picked up when I opened Guitars And Caffeine. I was terrified about anything surrounding money - I never liked to be the one to hand a customer the bill, I never wanted to be the one to count the drawer, I never wanted to be the one to look someone in the eye and give a quote. All of the anxiety I had about money stemmed from the fact that I didn't know much about it - besides depositing checks and paying bills. This book helped me see a different perspective. Kiyosaki explains "the rat race", and shares how he broke out of it using real estate and investments. Now, property and bonds aren't my bag, baby, but I learned a different way of thinking about money. I learned how to be comfortably uncomfortable when working towards a business goal; and my eyes were opened to more specific questions related to business and money, which helped me move forward.
I recommend this book to anyone who wasn't brought up being taught how money works - it's much more than getting and giving, but not so much more that you should be scared to learn! Enjoy!
The artist's guild: how to make a living doing what you love, by jackie battenfield
I am not a curator, I do not make a living painting, I am not trying to break into the gallery or museum scene - but, this book helped my tremendously! As a repair and builder-ish person, though I have always been sold on the fact I have a fairly scientific mind, there is a lot of artistic work I do. With that comes an extra responsibility to yourself, to find the best way both halves of your brain can work together harmoniously. For me, constantly solving physical problems, with turn week long around times made it hard for me to focus on my long term goals. This book is great at giving step by step directions on how to set realistic goals, with wonderful examples any craftsman can relate to.
Gruhn's Guild to vintage guitars, by george gruhn and walter carter
This is a must have for all repair shops. I take this baby out every time there is a vintage guitar on my bench - this book is a great quick reference for dates and models. I don't think this is the only book you should use when doing research, but it sure is a great way to get started!
The beginner's handbook of woodcarving, by charles beiderman and william johnson
There is no reason why a guitar builder or repairer shouldn't challenge themselves by trying out different techniques. I am a firm believer in continuing education, and learning to use wood in different ways is a big component to that. You'll find a handful of patterns with instructions in this beginner's carving guild - It's a book that was giving to my by my amazingly talented grandfather, who also taught me that any creation can be as basic or as detailed as you choose for it to be. It's important for all of us to step back and remember to have fun learning and doing what we do!
Complete guitar repair, by Hideo kamimoto
This is one of the first guitar repair books I ever read... and one of the only I reread the entirety of. I enjoy the voice Kamimoto writes in - it's to the point, factual, yet still has a softness that makes it a good read. Even though it's a bit old fashioned in todays standard shop, published way before the world of ".com", this book gives great lists of tools to have on hand, as well as ideas for basic shop setups. I would recommend this book as a starter book - it introduces you to the shop and the guitar.
guitar finishing step-by-step, by dan erlewine and don macrostie
Can't say enough about this book - if you work with finishes, you need this book. As brief as some explanations surrounding techniques, and the chemistry of finish and solvents are, this is the best book I have found regarding recipes. The step-by-step instructions teach you not only how to color match and mix the "candy apple red" of your dreams, but by using the recipes you will also learn layering, toning, and blending. Some of the coolest colors in the guitar world use different gain-filler, different colored primers, and different colored top coats. Get this book, you're going to love it! Make notes on the side, mix your own colors, play around with layering and remember to have fun!
Guitar Player Repair Guide, by dan erlewine
Now, this was actually one of my two first books I ever read about guitar repair. I remember flipping though the pages not even sure what I was looking at, but still totally into the fact that I could use tools on guitars! This is a great reference book for any shop to have on hand - I don't care how much you know, or think you know, the most innovative minds constantly revisit old lessons to find a new spin. This is a must have if you are just starting out or you are a musician on tour without a tech. I love the amount of photos and diagrams - as well as the dashes of humor and stories.
How to make your electric guitar play great!, by dan erlewine
This was the other of my two first books on guitar repair... still have them both, sitting right beside my bench ready to be opened and asked a question. This is a great book to learn about the basic physics of the guitar and how it relates to practical use. Great setup guild, great book to gift to someone who has an electric guitar - this is an owners manual, of sorts. Repairers and builders (small and large manufactures) tend to down play a good setup; it's usually the cheapest thing on our menu, it's usually a job that gets tossed to the newest person on the line - BUT it seems to be the key to success! Chasing a great setup can drive players and techs crazy - no matter how long you've been working with guitars, this is a great read when things just don't feel or sound right.