In Shop Blog

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.

I have been called a tool dweeb (and that’s by people who like me), but I take issue with that assessment. In truth, I have far more books than tools (unless you count every drill bit and cut nail).

At home I have a whole wall of woodworking books in my study. In my office at the magazine, I have three bookcases filled with books, tools, magazines and books. And the basement has several boxes of woodworking books that I don’t really use all the time but can’t seem to part with.

Recently I was able to dispose of all my old Popular Woodworking and Woodworking Magazine issues by installing them all on my laptop from our annual CDs.

Which made more room for books.

Just about every week, someone asks me for an inventory of my library. Some day I will do that, but it might prove alarming. Until that day, here is a list of the books that I have within 36″ of my chair at work. These are the books that I refer to all the time, or I’m reading right now to determine if they belong in my permanent collection.

The file below is a spreadsheet of the title, author, publisher and a line about what I think about the book.

– Christopher Schwarz

BooksAtWork.xls (40.5 KB)

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

Recent Posts
Showing 6 comments
  • Bill Law

    Greetings Chris,

    Thank you for this book list. I don’t buy near that many woodworking books, but when I do buy one it’s nice to have a good list to choose from. So I downloaded a copy of the list to keep for the future. One book I did buy and recommend is The Soul of a Tree by George Nakashima. Maybe you’ve already read it but it’s not on the list so I thought I’d mention it.

    Cheers, Bill Law 🙂
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Kip

    No Tage Frid?

    Didn’t Frid help open the door to the contemporary craft movement?

    Aren’t we all, in a way, Tage Frid’s children?

  • Christopher Schwarz


    Very cool ting. I’ll look into it.

    Oh, and when I mentioned above that I "disposed" of my old magazines, I didn’t throw them away or recycle them. I brought them to the office and added them to the collection of magazines we give to people for free at shows or when they are looking for an issue we are sold out of.

    But that was verbose….


  • I hate to put in such a blatant plug, but I really like the book collecting program offered by The software is inexpensive, you can use a bar code scanner with it to automatically enter your books, and they even have an inexpensive hosting service for you to share your book collection with the rest of the world.

    You can see my woodworking book collection here:

    Jim Lancaster
    Dallas, TX

  • James

    Thank you so much for this information. A good source for good books is always appreciated.

  • Christopher Schwarz


    It’s a good point. I do have a few power tool books in my library that I use on occasion, such as Kelly Mehler’s table saw book. But the truth is that I have used power tools for a very long time, I find they are far easier to master, and if I do have a question, I have Glen and Bob within shouting distance.

    That said, I would buy a router book from Glen.

    I’m not trying to sound like a know-it-all here; sorry if it’s coming off like that.


Start typing and press Enter to search