Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Green book of the week: The Real Man's Guide to Fixin' Stuff (and a giveaway!)

Today we have a book that wants to help us keeping our stuff working. Real men according to this book don't throw broken stuff to the trash or even recycle them. They fix them.

Our book is:

The Real Man's Guide to Fixin' Stuff: How to Repair Anything You Need (or Just Want) to Know How to Fix

Author: Nick Harper

Nick Harper is the author of Man Skills, and is the features editor for FourFourTwo, Britain's biggest-selling soccer magazine, and writes for Men's Health, The Guardian, Q, and FHM. He lives in England.


Published on: May 2010

What this book is about?
Real men know how to fix stuff…or at least, when something around the house breaks, it gets handed to the nearest guy to fix it. So if you don’t know a light socket from a socket wrench, this book will have you looking like Mr. Fix It in no time.
No longer will you think that something isn’t worth fixing or that it would be cheaper to replace. You’ll be able to fix: Dead remote controls, leaking showers, car scratches, weak vacuum cleaners, your lady’s busted heel or purse, and much more

What we think about it?
Nick Harper writes in the introduction to this book:

"Back in the good old days, things were made properly, pieced together with pride. Now, however, everything's put together on conveyor belts by robots (probably) and you're lucky if it lasts six months before breaking down on you.

You don't complain tough, do you? No, you just throw it away and buy a new one. And when that breaks in six months' time, you throw that away and buy a new one. And when that breaks, the sorry cycle continues: The manufacturer gets richer, you get poorer, and the giant landfill gets ever higher; It's a terrible business."

Sounds very much like the Story of Stuff, right? But unlike Annie Leonard, Nick Harper is not here to explain us the big picture, he is here to help us fix every little detail in it.

I'm not handy, I admit it. But I always wanted to know more, not to mention the envy I have in people who can fix almost everything. I want to be like them! So I was very excited to see Harper's book with the promise of learning how to become a real mean who knows how to fix stuff (by the way - what about real women? I know many women who can do this stuff much better than men - do they have a different book?).

And the book definitely keeps its promise. Although today you can google any problem you have or look for the right YouTube that will guide you how to fix it, this book is definitely a valuable resource, with tons of how-to tips that are described in a simple language. You can find there electrical stuff (fix a broken key on a computer), Kitchen Conundrums (Sharpen a can opener), Furniture (fix squeaky stairs), Garden guidance (rescue rusting tools) and more.

I haven't had the chance to try any of these tips yet, but I looked into some issues I had recently like how to fix a toilet that won't flush and I find Harper's explanations very reliable. I like his systematic approach which I find a necessity especially for less-skilled people such as myself.

In all, we need to remember that keeping our stuff working is really a win-win offer, as it's better both for the environment and the wallet, not to mention the satisfaction you'll get from knowing that you don't need to depend on anyone but yourself to keep your stuff working.

Bottom Line: If you like your stuff and you want to keep them alive more than just six months or so, this book is for you (no matter if you want to be a real man or a real woman).

Disclosure: We received a copy of this book from the publisher.


We're giving away our review copy of this book, courtesy of the publisher.

How you can win? Very simple. All you have to do is to add a comment with an answer to the following question: What was the last thing you fixed? We will have a raffle on Monday, July 5, 5:00PM EST between all the readers that will add their reply. The winner will be announced the following day.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!


Unknown said...

Hmmm... Thats a good question, I dont really "fix" things, thats probably why I need this book! I fixed my vaccum by going out and buying a new one LOL. Thats usually how I fix things, by replacing it so this book would REALLY come in handy (even though I'm not a man, but who says you have to be a man to fix things?!)Thanks for the chance into this giveaway.


Mary Preston said...

I fixed a fence paling just this morning. It was loose. I grabbed the hammer & a few nails & got the job done. Now to check the rest & re-paint.


s. said...

last thing i fixed was my kitchen sink. it was draining poorly and leaking underneath. I had to take apart the pipe, remove a nasty clog and replace with new plumbers tape. works PERFECTLY now!!

Gary Jones said...

I just fixed a leaky drain under the sink in my kitchen. I was able to remove the drain trap and wrap telfon tape around the threads and it worked! I did not have to replace the pipe saving money and resources.

Danielle said...

I fixed my vacuum. My son ran over a guitar string that had broke on his guitar and he had just thrown on the floor and ended up running over with the vacuum. He knew it was bad when he heard the crazy noise it made. Fortunately it sounded worse than it really was and after I unwound it from the brush, it was all good. He's lucky because it was our Dyson that we seriously splurged to have.


Katia said...

The last thing I fixed or should I say HELPED fix was the garage door. I need this book so that I won't be running for help every time something no longer works.

tina reynolds said...

the last ting is I helped my hubby fix are fridge thanks for the chance to win eaglesforjack@gmail.com