Rick has had Still Searching for Pipe Dreams in the works for some time. He first mentioned the project to me sometime last year and started pulling the pieces together for it in earnest at the beginning of this year. Like its predecessor, In Search of Pipe Dreams, this is a collection of articles, essays and speeches that he's given over the past few years, touching on a variety of topics relating to pipes. I started really getting excited about it in February when Rick started asking for help with artwork (the cover photo and one of the chapter's heading photos came from us) because I knew then that we weren't too far away from having it available.
Twenty-four hours before I left for the Chicago show back at the end of April, an advance copy showed up on my desk. Rick's timing (as I'm sure he knew) could not have been more perfect. I read most of it on various flights up to Chicago and then the balance the evening I arrived. But, once started, I couldn't put it down. It's rare that I find myself utterly unable to put a book down and go to sleep. It's even more rare with non-fiction. This is the first time it's ever happened with a book about pipes.
This is very much one man's journey. Rick does not set out to offer some sort of definitive interpretation of what pipes mean or what it means to collect pipes. He writes about what these things mean to him and what the friendships that he's derived from these things mean to him. It is an intensely personal collection of stories.
And that's exactly what makes Rick's books so special. His spectacular enthusiasm is infectious. He's witty, opinionated and his breezy style is incredibly readable without seeming insubstantial. This is a man who loves pipes, pipe makers, pipe tobacco and everything that goes with this hobby of ours. All of that makes the book utterly compelling. It's impossible to read Still Searching for Pipe Dreams and not be swept along by Rick's passionate, optimistic narrative and share in his love for pipes.
Sykes Wilford: Founder/President