I came across an article today in The Guardian titled, “Why are garden books so boring?” This seems to be of great concern not only in The UK, but here in The US. Is it also of great concern in other countries? Not surprisingly the people most concerned about boring garden books seem to be authors who write about gardening.
One common thread is comparing garden books to cooking books. The author of The Guardian article, Lucy Masters says, “I look at cookery books and the photography is amazing, the layouts are appealing and interesting.” Are there no boring cooking books? Do cooking book authors have these same discussions, but reversed? Wondering when someone else will come out with yet another beautiful picture book of dinning in Tuscany?
Recently I reviewed a garden book which I didn't find boring. The book seemed to have just enough photography, and interesting ideas to suit my tastes. My taste in most things runs a bit counter to the masses so tell me, is this the kind of book we are talking about as being boring?
Take a look at The Amazon top seller list in gardening. Are these books boring? I haven’t read most of them, so I really don’t know. What kinds of books would we expect to see filling this list? Seems they run the gamut from, “Vegetable Literacy, Cooking and Gardening”, “Marijuana Horticulture”, “Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life”, “The Flower Recipe Book”, and a bunch that help people learn to feed themselves. In the case of “Aquaponic Gardening”, it might help feed people in impoverished countries one day. That doesn't seem boring. There are also a bunch of “how to” books on growing your own food. It seems that if you’re concerned with GMO’s, pesticides, and corporate farms, you might want to know how to do this.
According to Lucy Masters article, nothing refreshing or novel has been published since, “Andy Sturgeon's book Planted came out in 1999. On the front cover it had a man's bald head with a terracotta plant pot and seedling balanced on top. It's was such a striking image. Everything about the photography in that book was refreshing, ground breaking! That was back in 1999.”
Why do we hear so much about the decline of gardening books? What do you think is going on here? Is this just a case of bored garden book authors? How do you find the current selection of gardening books available? What would you like to see more of? Less of?