Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities $20 sale (50% off regular price)


Get the Cool Tools book at a bargain price

Amazon has dropped the price of Kevin’s book, Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities to $19.99, which is an all-time low. There’s no telling when they’ll raise the price again, so if you don’t have the book yet, now’s your chance to pick it up at a bargain price.

Here’s my review, which ran on Wink Books:

For over ten years, Kevin Kelly (a co-founder of Wired and an editor of the Whole Earth Catalog) has been publishing recommendations of useful tools on his website, Using the Whole Earth Catalog as an inspiration, Kevin has collected over 1,500 reviews from his website into a full-color, massively oversized, 472 page catalog of how-to information of immense interest to makers. Kevin’s definition of a tool includes anything that helps you get something done — it could be a website, a book, a map, a material, an item of clothing, a gadget, or anything else that improves your abilities. If you wanted to rebuild civilization after a zombie apocalypse, this would be your guidebook.

The effect of seeing these reviews on large pages (when opened, a two-page spread is 22″ x 17″) is remarkable. As Kevin wrote on his site, “There is something very powerful at work on large pages of a book. Your brain begins to make natural associations between tools in a way that it doesn’t on small screens. The juxtapositions of diverse items on the page prods the reader to weave relationships between them, connecting ideas that once seemed far apart. The large real estate of the page opens up the mind, making you more receptive to patterns found in related tools. There’s room to see the depth of a book in a glance. You can scan a whole field of one type of tool faster than you can on the web. In that respect, a large paper book rewards both fast browsing and deep study better than the web or a small tablet.” As a result, Kevin has no plans for releasing an electronic version of the book (and the website is  the electronic version, anyway).

When Kevin showed me a copy — airmailed from Hong Kong hot off the press — my mind was blown, just as it was when I discovered a copy of the Whole Earth Catalog when I was a 10-year-old. This is the book I want my kids to blow their minds with.