Hear us out. Paint by Number: The How-To Craze that Swept the Nation by William L. Bird, Jr. is not a send-up or a spoof in any way, but a serious look at the history of what used to be a popular hobby of the post World War II leisure class. Any fans of the genre, or nostalgic amateurs who have fond (or frustrated) memories of attacking these kits over the Christmas holidays of their childhoods, will enjoy reading about how the kits came about. Did you know that Andy Warhol was a fan and used the technique himself? Or that some paint-by-numbers used to hang in the White House? Also referenced are the somewhat easier mosaic kits. All in all, a great read, a fun resource and a sure way to turn on the nostalgia. (If you get carried away, you can order the spin-off kit!)
Paperback, 144 pages. Princeton Architectural Press, 2001. $18.56 at Amazon.