Progress on tiny homes book

I started putting pages together a few months ago, getting a feel for what this new book was going to be. I’ve been gathering materials and making contacts over the course of a year. That’s my m.o.: assemble a ton of material, then figure out how to put it together. This includes making physical (folders with photos and print-outs) files, as well as an email mailbox and folder on the Mac for each contributor (containing text and photos). There are over 100 files, and new material coming in almost daily.

Layout: I’ve been doing layout whenever I get the chance (and mood) over the past several months. I do layouts by hand, using a color copy machine. It’s a pre-computer process and although time-consuming, gives the pages a touch of hand-crafting that direct-to-computer ain’t gonna do.

I’ve been going through the folders (in a rolling file cabinet), grabbing ones that are the most exciting, spreading the material out on the layout table, and designing and assembling a 2-page spread at a time. And boy, is it going good! The book’s got a life

It’s such a rich world. Building small (rather than large) gives the builder a chance to do something unique. Not having a lot of money means being creative. Small and simple can be (even if only temporarily) the alternative to the half-million house or condo and mortgage enslavement.

Contributors seem to be aware of the significance of it, and are on the ball (with hi-res photos and text). People are (still) sending us one wonderful thing or another. Lots of women builders. Lots of cob. Lot of road vehicles.

I’ve been thinking about a book like this — the kind you’ll hold in your hands and thumb through the pages — compared to an eBook of any persuasion…”I knew Jack Kennedy, Senator, and you’re no Jack Kennedy…” This ain’t gonna be no stinkin eBook.

The times are obviously right. It reminds me of 1973 when we were assembling Shelter. There’s a spirit of simplicity and self-sufficiency afoot these days. Hell, even the New York Times is on it. I think this will be a major book, as was Shelter, a reflection of the times.

Shameless commerce dept.: we are selling a package of 3 building books — Shelter, HomeWork, and Builders of the Pacific Coast — for a 40% discount. Both of the latter 2 books have lots of buildings directly inspired by Shelter, so there’s a continuity and some history here: https://is.gd/kfiEq

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

4 Responses to Progress on tiny homes book

  1. Sounds great. Love all your house building books because they're so life affirming. I flip through them all the time when I want a creative boost.

  2. I will be buying this book, for sure.

    Those people who actually live in a tiny house might like the option of buying a "stinkin Ebook". There is something to be said for a library that's easy to move and doesn't use any space.

  3. LLoyd, I love everybook you've done, you have an artist eye,and a beautiful child's spirit. I'm looking forward to finally seeing it!

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