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Secondly, I love books. I will read books on almost anything, if they are well-written. So it's only normal that I have an extensive collection of books on handspinning (after all, relatively few books are published on the subject. One might hope to have one day a complete collection;-) )
But that's no reason for YOU to start a collection of books or videos on spinning (unless you are as crazy as I am, of course)! Because, to tell the truth, books don't help all that much in learning to spin. As for all manual activities, only practice makes perfect. So, the time needed to read "The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning" (at a rough guess 10 to 30 hours - depending on whether you skip the calculations or try to follow) might be better spent with a spindle or wheel.
Books do help in learning to talk about spinning, though! It's much easier to ask a meaningful question in a spinner's forum if you know what the flyer whorl is and don't call it "that round thingy under the string". I'd therefore consider getting at least one good book out of the library, if you don't want to buy one of the beginner's books.
Another point: Don't take books too seriously. Authors do make mistakes - from inattention or faulty research. Or maybe they've written for specific circumstances and you spin under other circumstances. For example: There's many different instructions for washing wool. Well, there's many different types of wool! And a washing method that works for a coarse longwool (very little grease) will not work for Merino. So, if something in a book doesn't work for you, or doesn't correspond to your experience - ignore it!
In the end, the only yardstick is you: Your pleasure, your yarn. If you like your yarn, if you spin without getting aches and pains, you are doing things right. There is no spinning police!
On most subjects, I prefer books. They are more portable and it's easier to find a specific page. Besides, I'm a very text-oriented learner. However, spinning is best explained visually - a pictures really says more than a thousand words. I have therefore caved in and gotten a nearly complete collection of spinning videos (there's even fewer of them than there are books).
Videos also have the advantage of credibility: Whereas an author can write anything, for a video she has to show what she's doing. You see the hands, the yarn, the spinning wheel and you can judge for yourself whether words, actions and yarn match.
You will find detailed reviews of my videos and books on two long pages. Here are just a few short recommendations to save you reading through them all:
Sorry, I don't know which one is the perfect "second book". Maybe Mabel Ross's video or her "Essentials of Yarn Design for Handspinners". Or Anne Field's "Spinning Wool - Beyond the Basics", or Alden Amos. Or all of them, or none... I think the perfect general book for advanced spinners hasn't been written yet. There are, however, some very good specialized publications:
Page updated: 07 April 2007