When I was growing up I would always watch with interest as my Grandad tinkered with cars. I had no desire to learn what he was doing, but I did enjoy going through the big vibrant books he had for each car he owned. I loved the look and feel of them in much the same way that I love the Penguin Classics, almost artistic in their everyday appearance.
In recent years the company that produces these manuals, Haynes, has started to branch out. Of course you can now get all the ephemera that goes with any product these days; T-shirts, mugs, postcards and the like. But they have also started producing fictional guides, Thomas the Tank Engine and the USS Enterprise amongst others. They sent me a copy of Wallace and Gromit – Cracking Contraptions Manual to see if I fancied making a Knit-O-Matic or Porridge Cannon for myself.