About a month ago here Michael Ham wrote an article about how he came to write this book, the story behind its creation and development. He then sent me two copies of it, one of which I took to Spain with me last week and read.
Traditional, real shaving is a popular movement in the Western world that has really taken off. Suppliers are having difficulty keeping up with demand and the online activity is increasing steadily. Against this background the Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving is very important because it is the only book that is at the centre of what is going on.
Michael has been very clever in that the book is not designed to compete with the online resources, instead he has written a book that complements them. The main problem with online shaving resources is that they are mainly forums with a very poor bandwidth of valuable content and woefully bad organisation of that content. This book is the exact opposite with a huge concentration of valuable information that is presented in a well organised manner.
The Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving really conveys the authors love and enthusiasm for the subject. He seems to be genuinely in awe that the daily tedium that is shaving using a multibladed system razor can be totally transformed into a joyful and luxurious daily ceremony.
The book is primarily aimed at the neophyte. It is the absolutely perfect gift for someone who is new to traditional shaving. More than that it is also ideal for those poor people who are still stuck with multibladed system razors. It shows them that there is a far better way. Whilst the book may be targeted at the beginner it has an outstanding characteristic that makes it valuable for anyone who is interested in the subject which is that it is so rich in resources. It tells you where to find a whole wealth of shaving information. Bruce on Shaving is listed, for instance.
Whilst Michael is American and so the book is US centric, it still has great value for readers elsewhere, this is because of the global nature of retail in shaving goods and the global nature of the online shaving communities.
I have said repeatedly in this blog that real, traditional shaving is very personalised. Products and methods that work for you may not work for the next man. This is part of the joy of what we do: we exercise infinite choice. So when Michael gives advice it is very good and well founded advice but it is not necessarily always what I would do. But this is obviously to be expected and the book gives the reader a very solid grounding from which to develop and experiment.
Overall The Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving serves a very valuable purpose, not only is it a great resource for every traditional shaver, it is also a great tool for evangelising and proselytising what we do. For converting poor multibladed system shavers over from the dark side. Lend or give a copy to your friends and they will thank you.