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I will never forget the first time I saw this book. It was in the old Galactic Gateway's store and the gentleman behind the counter saw me mesmerized by it. I saw it as if it were a photoshopped picture with the blurry edges around it, slowly coming into focus and registering that there were PICTURES of stones on the front of this book.
My experience up until this point had been books that were either text books on the composition of minerals, or Melody's work, while still a staple in my healing room, doesn't offer the colorful adventure that TBOS does.
The book was on the highest shelf of course, and my arms were full of stones I was about to purchase. I had to turn my back and lay down all my treasures and I was sure that when I whipped back around ready to grab that book off the top shelf it would be gone. But it was still there, and I managed to get it into my hands and settle down in the corner in the floor to take my time savoring one of the most beautiful books I had ever seen. I brought the book home needless to say and like Melody's work changed the way I looked at the world, TBOS also had some influence on the direction that I have taken in my life.
I carried this book around with me until it became dog eared, the cover was tearing, there are coffee stains on it, some of the pages have curled from moisture, my grandson laid his fudgcicle on it one day. This gives you some idea of how valuable this book has been to me. I would rush home to read about the stones I had purchased. I already knew the chemical makeup, I already knew the historical values, I already knew the gemlogical values, I wanted to know what people were using these stones for!
This was the first book that I noticed focused on healing ourselves, then others. This book takes you through a journey of crystal healing like no other book can or has. It is almost as if Naisha Ashian kept a journel while meditating with each of these stones, and Robert Simmons kept his version. That is the beauty of this book, there are two versions to every stone. Everyone I know prefers one over the other, when I first started I liked Robert Simmons version better, as I worked on deeper layers and through more of my own personal experiences with these stones, I came to truly appreciate the facinating work that Naisha Ashian was doing with these stones.
So many years ago, this book showed me that there was an entire industry that revolves around crystals and thier uses. With this book in tow, I have learned alot about this industry and have made decisions and formed many opinions based on the politics that surrounds this and later books on this subject. This book, with Melody's book ( to be reviewed next week), changed the course of my life, the direction of my path and the way I look at myself and others. I know I am not alone when I say that this work we call TBOS, is to date one of the most well known books on stones, even if it isn't the most accurate.
Size and weight TBOS (2.5★)
TBOS scores a little low in this category. TBOS is not only larger than the average book, it seems heavier to me than it should be. I know this is just a personal opinion, but in an age where our phones are sold by the oz., this book seems to be a bit cumbersom in some circusmstnaces. It will fit in a backpack, this is why I think it is heavier than it should be, I carried it around for a long time and finally shelfed it for TCB1 / 2 because of the portability issue. As far as using this book in the home, definitely a fun journey, A hot cup of tulsi tea, a warm blanket and Merlin on my feet while reading this book is a fun way to spend an afternoon.
Organization TBOS (3.5★)
I Love the way that this book is organized. It must be my gemini moon, but I really like having access to two different reviews on the same page. This book also organizes stone by the name. If you have looked at other books, you may see where they are categorized by mineral, this can make finding agate difficult if you aren't aware that it is a form of quartz. TBOS separates this out beautifully helping you to find your stone descriptions quickly and easily. The table of contents groups stones into categories and subdivides them into specifics. This makes it easy to find the different agates that are listed as well as hundreds of other stones that are subcategorized in the mineral kingddom. There is no index in TBOS, so there is no way to look up stones through keywords or illnesses, this is why I took points off, I do like being able to look up an illness and seeing what stones others have used, this makes TBOS a challenge to use in your healing room.
Ease of use TBOS (3.5★)
In my opinion, TBOS works kind of like a one way street, meaning if I know what stone I want to read about - and possibly know the trademarked name- it's great.. When I am looking for a stone to work with a particular issue, it is just too much research to go through the entire book glancing through the pages at key words when there are other books on the market that offer an index. However, I will say that I have been known to look up a keyword in another index, get the suggestions, then look them up in TBOS. This is one area where organization becomes critical, with no index in TBOS, it creates challenges with use as practical handbook in the healing room and that is the one reason this book recieved the scores it has.
This book also offers very little relevent information for a crystal healer in the healing room, the experiences expressed here are personal expeiriences by two very gifted and talented individuals, however most clients that crystal healers work on are not as familiar with stone energies as these two, so it is much more subtle for clients.
Presentation TBOS (3★)
So I admitted that initially I believed TBOS to be the most beautiful book I had ever seen, and I still stand by the fact that it is one of the most beautifully illustrated stone books on the market. Presentation covers more than the illustrations, although they are a large part of it. Presentation also covers how the whole project comes together, the cohesiveness of the transition between subjects, the elements of design that are not limited to how the book looks but how the book feels. The pictures are amazing, however they are the stones that one would see in a museum, usually not sitting on a shelf at your local rock shop. This is the biggest 'ding' for this category, we all want to see amazing stones, but as a vendor, dealer and consumer it is no fun trying to please someone carrying around TBOS looking for an azurite that looks just like the picture.
The next part of presentation is the feel, over time the realization starts to kick in that there is a slight marketing technique to this book. The mix of beautiful pictures, stones available only by one principal vendor, the exorbitant prices charged for these beauties that are written about within the pages of this book. The lack of resources on how to obtain your own stones becomes pretty obvious. All of these things effect how TBOS presentation score.
Actual Content TBOS (2★)
This is where I walk on thin ice. I admit I have used TBOS for years. I admit to being so excited when I found this book. I am no longer excited about the politics and marketing of this book and that is why the actual content score is so low. Many would disagree with me on this score and ask how I could possibly score this book so low when it has had such an impact on my life - in a good way!
The answer is simple, after a few years learning the industry, selling stones and moving around taking classes as well as giving them, I started to form an opinion of this book and the others that follow, with few exceptions as marketing tools to sell Robert Simmons trademarked stones. There, I said it, sort of out loud.
I won't go into details on my opinion of trademarked stones (I already have in another blog), and Robert Simmons was not alone in the race to TM as much as he could while it was effective. The TM's keep the consumer having to buy from the vendor who owns the TM, otherwise the exact same material purchased from another vendor cannot be called the same name, hence is not talked about in TBOS. Trademarked stone represent a large reason why TBOS scores low on content, but not the only reason. I have not picked my TBOS up in over 2 years. I no longer use it as a refernece, not just because it can be hard to find a stone by symptom, but because of what I call 'fluff'.
Although both authors are very brilliant writers, I prefer to have a reference book tell me facts. This book tells some beautiful stories, some poetic journey's with stones, however there is little fact in this book. The trademarked stones confuse the facts when a crystal healer is honestly trying to find a stone. The work described in these books is not work that has been tried, true or tested by anyone other than the authors. Other books offer compilations of hundreds of experiences, yet this book offers us only two.
Admittedly, to read the experiences of these two was life changing for me at a time when I needed it, however when I look back and see how many times I was on the hunt for merlinite only to find out that the prime material is called psilimelane, and it is much cheaper than merlinite, and not so hard to find, I felt very ignorant. I feel that a book should not leave me feeling ignorant, I feel a book should be up front and honest about the material in it, especially when it is marketing itself as THE reference book on stones. Many of the stones that are named in this book are identified through the trademarked name, leaving out what it really is, causing much confusion within the industry.
This has also led to many 'new discoveries' of stones that are in this book as well as those that have followed. These 'new' stones are not new to earth, new to science, nor are they new to the industry. These new stones are simply old stones with shiny new trademarked names, great stories, and hgh prices -somebody has to pay for all that work right?
Over time I have come to see TBOS as a fiction, a wonderful journey through some of the most beautiful pictures of stones, poetic descriptions that ignite the imagination. However as consumer, I am sadly dissapointed in the actual facts about the stones, thier uses and thier names.
I do not refer to TBOS as a reference book on stones, I refer to it more as a beautiful journey through some very gifted writers experience using stones in a way others have not written about very well.
Would I recommend this book to others- YES - with a disclaimer of what it is
Would I re-purchase this book if the need arose - NO
TBOS total score 2.9 ★