Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Book Review: Homekeeping Handbook

Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home by Martha Stewart

I finally got around to reading Homekeeping Handbook and I have to say I want it as a reference. Even though I feel Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson will always be my first go-to book, I still enjoyed Martha Stewart's book.

So I am going to be doing some comparison to Home Comforts. Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook has a lot of handy-dandy charts and photos both in color and black and white. Home Comforts has illustrations and sketch drawings but no photos. It does have charts but because Martha uses color in her book the charts have color elements in them to make them stand out more.

Home comforts feels, to me, more in-depth and more of an actual reference where Martha's is more of a handbook despite the size of the book. And example of this is that Home Comforts had information about bacterias and dust mites and things of that sort where Martha is just like "clean this." Home comforts I think sometimes gives instructs as though the person reading the book has never cleaned and I like that. Martha does that at times in sections and other times it is just like I said "clean this." But doesn't tell you how.

Example of Home Comforts being more thorough.....Martha does 2 pages on setting a table. Home Comforts does 8 and half. But then Martha does her sections different then Home Comforts and actually probably makes more sense. She has after setting table - little things on table linens and storage, then names all the different forks, spoons, glasses, storage and care for chine and flatware - and Home Comforts does care and cleanness in another chapter and has 1 illustration of all the flatware and their names. It does a list of what china that one needs. But then care for it and storage are in another section. Home Comforts goes into food more too - cooking a meal, food storage, what foods to have in pantry. Martha does some of that too but not so as extensively.

As I said above Home Comforts will probably always be my go-to book but I still want Martha's. I like how it is laid out. It breaks sections off into - Room by Room guide, throughout the house cleaning manual, comfort and safety, moving manual, material guides and references . I like the charts. Even as big as it is - easy to flip through and see charts about something interesting or something you always wanted to know.

Just an example of photos and illustrations in from Home Comforts and Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook....

Table Setting Illustration from Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House By Cheryl Mendelson

This illustration has several settings - for breakfast, meatless and several informal settings. It also has formal settings on the next page.

Photograph of two table settings from Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home By Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart's book has black and white photographs throughout such as this one for table settings. It only has two examples of table settings everyday and special occasions. I think in most instances that what most of us would use. But there are times we do want to step up the service and Home Comforts to me will give you better examples of how to do that.

Some quick pros and cons of Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook....
* this book is huge and although has a great amount of useful information but because the book is so big it is often hard to find it
* if you are a Martha Stewart fan the photos in this book aren't as lavish but didn't really expect them to be for a "handbook"
* if you clean at all - most of this information is probably already something you know

* it has pictures and charts
* set up to make a guide that can be used more easily than Home Comforts
* Martha Stewart always has good practical information as well as information to take things to the next level in cleaning and keeping a house

I do want this book to be a part of my home references. I have a few Amazon gift certificates so I think I will be using one on this book soon.

1 comment:

  1. Really Nice post written by you. I will return to read your updated one.
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