I picked up Basic Soap Making: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started by Elizabeth Letcavage, Patsy Buck, & Buck Alan Wycheck a long time ago when it was free. Wouldn’t you know that recently my melt and pour supplier went up in price so much that I started considering making my own again? I never wanted to mess with lye and waiting six weeks for soap to cure. But I like good soap. And I have sensitive skin. And I need another hobby??? Okay, probably not that last one.
At any rate, the book is nicely detailed with lots of pictures. The pictures aren’t in color on my kindle and that hinders their resolution/clarity. For example, when they show the consistency of the soap, it’s a little hard to tell whether it’s at trace (pudding or just dripping). For a kindle book there are really too many pictures–they often take up a whole screen so this can mean lots of “paging” and we all know the Kindle is not lightning fast at page turns. Even my slow brain outruns it.
So while pictures are nice, for kindle, a few less of them would have been better. The recipes are great because they are mostly simple ones that make small batches. The one thing I hated–and I think this would be true of any reference books–is that I can’t quickly flip pages to go back to something. I didn’t bookmark the recipes. Ten pages later, I wanted to go back. ARGH. Kindle is not fast when going page by page. Where were they anyway? And what did it say about this particular ingredient…I don’t remember where it was…so paging around looking is time consuming and frustrating.
If you are ever reading a reference or how to book on the kindle, use notes and bookmarks LIBERALLY. That way you can get back to the interesting stuff in a hurry.
I liked the book and the recipes, but to be useful, I’d have to buy the actual paper book. Perhaps that is the plan. I picked this up for free, but to make any of the recipes, I’d want to buy the print copy. The print copy appears to have a nice spiral and probably has pages to keep notes. Making soap seems to require a lot of note taking.
It’s a good book for reading about what goes into soap. (Hint: To the person who left a two star review because the book only covered soap made with lye, ALL soaps require lye. It or a caustic cousin are needed for the basic chemical reaction that results in soap.) It covers the safety an tools. One thing about the tools. In this book a lot of plastic containers were used. I would probably not use plastic. It’s nice to know they can be used, but I think they would make for messier cleanup and the idea of chemical reactions going on with plastic around doesn’t comfort me for some reason. I have these visions of chemicals leaching out of the plastic…
If you want to learn about soap making, this is a good starting place on Kindle. If you want to actually make soap, buy the print version.
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