I have a couple of friends who are new homeowners, moving in to fixer uppers. I’ve been recommending the Reader’s Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself guide for repairs to them. I might as well recommend it officially here.
My mother bought this guide for my partner for the Christmas after I bought my house. We were politely appreciative. We didn’t know why we needed this book. We have YouTube to provide us with all the video tutorials we need. But the Complete Do-It-Yourself guide has been easy to read. I’ve looked it over on the couch for fun. The diagrams are orderly and straightforward. I now know how a septic system works, even though I’ve never lived in a house with one. When my water heater died, I didn’t feel comfortable messing with natural gas and wrestling a new one into place, but I at least learned what the parts were using the book. Maybe we can do it ourselves next time, now that I feel more confident.
And—very importantly—about half of the images of people doing repairs are women. Looking at a picture of a woman doing a repair helps dispel the culturally ingrained idea that I can’t fix things because I’m a woman. No. I can’t fix things because I don’t yet know how and this book is helping me learn.