pencil cover

David Rees is now an artisanal pencil sharpener. His rapid rise to being the leader in his field is yet one more American success story.

David discovered his calling a few years ago when working on the 2010 census taking. Each census taker was issued No. 2 pencils and a manual pencil sharpener. The call came to David the first day of training when they were sharpening their pencils. He describes it now in his book: “I’m feeling this. I like sharpening pencils. If I could figure out how to get paid to sharpen pencils I would be happy. So I decided to become an artisanal pencil sharpener.”

pencils how to sharpen

David now shares what he’s learned and how he goes about his work in this new page book. The book describes itself, in its long subtitle: “A practical and theoretical treatise on the artisanal craft of pencil sharpening, for writers, artists, contractors, flange turners, anglesmiths, and civil servants, with illustrations showing current practice.”

pencil students
Students in pencil-sharpening class

His book tour — which includes pencil-sharpening classes — has taken him to book shops in New York, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Texas, Utah, California, Oregon, Washington, and Maine so far.

pencil sharpening exercise
Exercises for warming up before sharpening
pencils are incuded in the book

The book includes a clear illustration of a pencil before and after its first sharpening:

pencil side views

The shortest chapter in the book is the chapter: “A Few Words about Mechanical Pencils.” The title of the chapter is accurate. It indeed has only a few words. it has four words: “Mechanical pencils are bullshit.”

David’s view of electric pencil sharpeners is similar: “You wouldn’t trust an electric machine to deliver your baby; why would you trust one to sharpen your pencil?”

A flaw we see in the book? It’s not anything that’s in the book; what’s in the book is wonderful. The flaw is what’s missing. The book has no index. We dull men like indexes. in fact, some of our members are professional indexers (artisanal indexers?).

The book is now in our aStore, click here.

To get to the author’s website, click here.

Respectfully submitted,

Paige Turner
New York