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Best Books for Learning a New Skill

POSTED BY prbythebook ON June 11, 2014

by Rainy Schermerhorn, PR by the Book Intern, @RainySchermer

sewing-straight-cover-loSummer is finally here and it’s the perfect time to learn something new! While tackling a new skill or hobby may seem like a daunting prospect, beginner’s books can downsize your stress and help you quickly become a pro at whatever you’re trying to learn. Here are our picks for some great books to help you learn something new:

Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara

I decided to learn how to sew this summer, so this is my most recent read on the list! If you’re a newbie like me, Sewing in a Straight Line is the perfect beginner’s book. I’m still far from perfect, but the projects listed in the book are simple and presented with straightforward, easy-to-follow instructions, making this a great supplement to things like YouTube tutorials.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Okay, this might be cheating — as the title suggests, King’s book is less of a traditional “how-to” and more of a memoir. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, considering I’m not the biggest fan of King as a writer, but his advice on storytelling and writing is practical and even occasionally poignant.

My personal favorite tidbit: “If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

As a chronic procrastinator, this book unsurprisingly sat on my shelf for a few years before I actually got around to reading it — I got it as a gift from a relative after graduating high school and took it as a bit of a slight at the time. “Me, bad at managing time? Nonsense!”

Then I started college and got a brutal reality check. When I finally got around to reading this book, I found myself learning a lot. I never quite learned how to properly manage my time or study in high school, so this book is probably what helped me the most when it came to learning how to become a more productive person not only in regards to academics, but life in general.

How To Read A Book: The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren

If you’re reading a list about books, then obviously you know how to read, but reading is about more than just absorbing words on a page. Even as an English major, I’ve found myself spacing off and realizing I didn’t retain a single word in the chapter I just read. But you don’t have to be an English major to want to learn more productive ways to read — while this book was originally published in 1940, it still provides valuable tips on how to increase your reading comprehension.

Will you be learning a new skill this summer? Know of any good “how-to” books? Let us know in the comments!

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How to Help Families this Holiday

POSTED BY prbythebook ON December 5, 2013
How to Help Families this Holiday

by Ashley Lauretta, Assistant Publicist, @ashley_lauretta Here at PR by the Book we are thrilled that it is the holiday season. This year, we learned of a request from a place in Austin that is really dear to our hearts — and we wanted to take the time to share a way that you can help […]

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Lesson from a PR by the Book Intern

POSTED BY prbythebook ON June 20, 2013
Lesson from a PR by the Book Intern

by Business Development Intern, Draike De La Garza  Public relations is the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting consequences, counseling organization leaders, and implementing a planned direction of action that will serve to meet the goals set by the organization. At PR by the Book, my title for the spring semester was Business […]

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The Art of Moving Books – The Nobelity Project

POSTED BY prbythebook ON May 1, 2013
The Art of Moving Books – The Nobelity Project

The Nobelity Project has a great event happening in the Austin area as part of their effort to bring books to Roatan, Honduras: “The Art of Moving Books” Exhibit Thursday, May 9, 7 – 10 p.m. Wardenclyffe Gallery, 1101 Springdale Rd. Austin, Texas. Artists entries in The Nobelity Project’s Art of Moving Books competition will […]

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2013 Mother and Me Tea Benefiting St. Louise House

POSTED BY prbythebook ON April 10, 2013
2013 Mother and Me Tea Benefiting St. Louise House

Celebrate the important women in all of our lives and raise funds to continue helping women create a brighter future for their families at this year’s “Mother and Me Tea” benefiting St. Louise House. The natural beauty of Green Pastures will serve as an amazing backdrop for up to 450 guests to enjoy a silent […]

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