Book Review: My Creative Space by Donald Rather

Exploring interior design books has quickly become one of my pleasures in
life - the number of ideas they contain seem boundless, and the design
pictures help keep my attention after a long day. While it's more text than
pictures, and while its ideas are theoretically numbered (to "48
science-based techniques"), Donald Rattner's My Creative Space is a lovely
addition to our collection.image003 (2).jpg

Most design books focus strictly on what looks good - and there's no shame
in that - but Rattner has taken a more scientific approach. He lists 48
strategies for ways you can boost your creativity at home that he loosely
groups into three categories: visual cues to incorporate, ambient
improvements that can be made, and actions to take. Most of it, overall, is
pretty interesting and somewhat intuitive - few would be surprised to learn
that turning on low music and adding some art can help spark creative ideas,
for example. Some of the advice, though, when taken at face-value and
measured against itself, seems to be contradictory; for instance, there's
one chapter encouraging the reader to incorporate as much natural sunlight
into their space as possible, and yet there's another encouraging the reader
to dim the lights. But the purpose of the book isn't for the reader to
follow 100% of the ideas given - it's meant to be a starting point that
readers can borrow from, knowing that it's their space and their choice what
to do with it.

Rattner takes what could have become a dull book and makes it pleasant to
read with his hints of humor and interesting examples. I spent far too much
time poring over the daily routines of famous creative minds, included as a
chart in the pages of Technique #1, and a couple of his lighthearted quips
made me snort aloud. For a book that contains useful information - or at
least gives the reader inspiration - this is far from the bottom of the
barrel. And, while the text far out-measures the photos in terms of
quantity, the photos are worth assessing too.

My Creative Space is in Charles City Public Library's nonfiction section,
available to all patrons. Check it out today by stopping in or calling