Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Get a Hobby!

Get a Hobby!

by Tina Barseghian

(790.13 BARSEGHI)

Get a Hobby is a cool book that surveys over 100 different common hobbies. Ideas are diverse from athletic hobbies like caving, cooking hobbies like candy making or oil infusing, to nature hobbies like bonsai tree shaping. A forward explains the possible health benefits of hobbying--sorry, video gaming doesn't count as a hobby for a very simple reason.

Each hobby is presented in a two-page spread. Information about the hobby includes a summary of the activity itself, materials needed to get started, a history of the activity, directions for getting started, and resources for additional information. In many cases a personality profile, a list of similar hobbies, or a beginning project are also included. The idea of the two-page spread is to give readers enough information to sample a hobby and see if it really does suit them. To really delve into any of these hobbies, most people would need to gather much more information.

Barseghian has made picking a hobby that suits you much easier. First, readers can take a short quiz. The thing to know about this quiz is that it is asking about extremes. For example, the question about pets that includes an answer with snakes isn't trying to find out whether or not you like snakes. Rather, the question is trying to determine how extreme your devotion is to the animal kingdom. The quiz helps you identify your own personality traits which is useful when you start flipping through the hobbies. Personality traits are listed at the top of each hobby two-page spread. The traits that would be useful for the hobby on that page are in bold. The introduction to the quiz explains that hobbies with two or more of your selected personality traits in bold print would likely be a good match for you.

If none of the 101 hobbies appeals to you there are additional ideas for hobbies at the back of the book including alturistic hobbies, cerebral hobbies, and travel related hobbies.

At first I was disappointed that the author didn't include a spreadsheet of the personality traits identified with each hobby. However flipping through each hobby one-by-one and considering the suggested personality traits was interesting in and of itself. After reading this book, I can't say that I'm ready to go out and take up a whole new hobby, but it did open my mind up to a few new possiblities. Also, reading this reminded me of past hobbying efforts that for one reason or another I had put aside. I'm thinking that now would be a good time to take them up again. I really hope that Barseghian will follow this up with either a second book or a website. Reading this has made me curious about a few things, and I'd love to hear about other people's experiences beginning a new hobby.

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