January31, 2012

In 1973 we published the oversized book Shelter. At its heart were small buildings. We advised people to start small, and presented complete plans, drawn by Bob Easton, for 5 small buildings, each with a different roof shape: shed, low gable, steep gable, hip, and circular.

Almost 40 years has passed and now, due to a variety of factors, the concept has caught on. We lucked out with the timing of TINY HOMES. Yesterday, an article featuring the book appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Here's a link to getting the whole article (for 6 days) without subscribing to the WSJ:


"It may be one of the most intriguing trends in homebuilding: do-it-yourself tiny homes. Lloyd Kahn's Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter, a quirky photo-rich book that preaches the benefits of a 'grassroots movement to scale things back.' It has already sold 5,200 copies in the U.S. and Canada since going on sale Jan. 15, making the title a genuine hit in a distinctly niche market.

'It's about fantasy,' said Jonas Kyle, one of the owners of Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers in Brooklyn, NY, which reordered it after a modest initial order sold out.

'What all these books reflect is that people are interested in living more simply,' said Patricia Bostelman, vice president of marketing at Barnes & Noble, Inc. 'The economy declined, and people are finding ways to downsize.' Barnes & Noble is carrying Tiny Homes in several hundred stores in major markets.

'What I'm saying with this new book is don't get a mortgage, don't pay high rent, and don't go into debt,' said Mr. Kahn. 'If you're young enough or you're just starting out and don't want to work 12 hours a day, here's an alternative.'"


Yesterday the book was #52 on the Amazon Best Seller Ranking. (#58 was The Girl Who Played With Fire.) The highest we've ever had a book before was around #700.