The incredible popularity of Etsy and all things DIY seems strange, when you consider our society's obsession with all things disposable and temporary. It's not, though: handmade things have more intrinsic value and meaning. Sure, you can snag a scarf at Target for $8.95 and use it for a month or two, but you'll treasure the scarf you knit yourself (and remember every dropped stitch) for decades, because of the effort and time involved. Hobbies may be more expensive than just buying something from a big box store, but the results are infinitely more satisfying. The new book by Make magazine editor Mark Frauenfelder, Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World ($17), celebrates all of the crafters, carpenters, and DIY-ers out there. He tries everything from beekeeping to making a ukulele from a cigar box, and details the results with contagious joy. Even if you've never so much as sewn a button on a shirt, you'll find yourself itching to create as you read this.
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