Like a lot of designers, we collect things. One of our favorite collections isn’t very large. It can be broadly described as “how-to books.” But what sets these apart is they detail hobbies that you really shouldn’t learn from a book.

Both aspirational and informational, the diagrams clearly demonstrate highly specialized tasks. The drawings are easy to follow and simple to understand. But is it a good idea for just anyone to actually try them?

Tree felling, taxidermy, construction and even veterinary medicine can be learned by following simple diagrams.

These books not only show individual steps, but also simplify entire processes.

Over-simplification can also make the diagrams confounding to understand and make them hard to decipher what is being communicated.

They demonstrate the elegance of learning a process, encourage embracing risk and allow the reader to ignore their better judgement.

Through the honest diagrams, readers can chase an ambition as well appreciate the value of expertise and craft.