Book Reviews

Fred Hanna’s New Book for Pipe Smokers a Must Have

The Perfect Smoke – Gourmet Pipe Smoking for Relaxation and Reflection, By Fred J. Hanna

Kevin Godbee

It’s not often that a new book targeted to pipe smokers and collectors gets published. We are after all, a pretty small niche market. So when a new book does come out, it almost feels like there should be a celebration. In this case, I think a celebration of Fred Hanna’s latest labor of love is warranted … and you should buy the book too. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m planning on getting an autographed copy when I see Fred at The Chicagoland Int’l Pipe & Tobacciana Show on May 5 & 6. I already know the book is going to be great. Fred is a genius when it comes to pipes and tobaccos. He has a PhD in psychology, and was awarded the "Doctor of Pipes" designation at the 2010 Chicago show. He has been in the hobby for countless years, is known for his love of straight grain pipes, and has his own tobacco blend produced by McClelland, called Wilderness.

Fred has spoken publicly and has been published innumerous times on the subjects of pipes, tobaccos, and in his professional field of psychology. He has many extremely fascinating insights that tie together psychology, physiology, health, and relaxation with pipes and tobacco. The way Dr. Hanna expresses his knowledge, information and wisdom is just purely captivating. The book is a combination of past works, and new writings, and is the perfect opportunity to get inside the mind of one of the brightest people in the hobby.

Below are some of the pipes featured in the book, although they are in black & white in the book.

 

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In an unprecedented manner, there are two forewards—one by Gregory L. Pease, and the other by Tad Gage. Both are well-known tobacco blenders, pipe collectors, and columnists / writers. Dr. Hanna tells us; "The book consists of 17 or so completely new essays on pipes and tobaccos on a wide range of topics. It also includes another 17 or so revised and updated essays from previous publications, dealing with original and still popular topics such as pipe smoking and problem solving, air-pocket packing, pipe mud, tin baking, brand vs. briar (first published 11 years ago and still a hot topic), old vs. new tobaccos, mysteries of the break-in process and many more."

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"The book also contains around 70 or so photos of pipes and vintage rare tobacco tins. They are in black and white as [color was cost-prohibitive]. There are 2 forewords in the book, generously written by Gregory Pease and Tad Gage. I know 2 forewords is rather unique but I could not decide on which of them should do it (as they are both such good friends) so I asked them both. It turned out pretty cool, as both of the forewords are quite different. It is being published by the NASPC Press which allows me the privilege of having the book edited by Bill Unger, who is a professional editor and a PhD in literature (in the book, he included some comments from the editor as well). This is the 2nd book published by the NASPC Press."

The price of the book is $25 for U.S., $30 for Canada, and $35 for overseas. To order online, just send a Pay Pal payment and note to: bill@naspc.org. You can also use the Perfect Smoke Flyer & Order Form – PDF. NOTE: The book will be available in early May, but you can pre-order.

Here is the book cover, front and back

Here is a preview of the Table of Contents

THE PERFECT SMOKE:
GOURMET PIPE SMOKING FOR RELAXATION AND REFLECTION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Some Thoughts from the Editor
Foreword by Gregory Pease
Foreword by Tad Gage

One of the World’s Most Underrated Pleasures: An Introduction to the Perfect Smoke

BOOK CHAPTERS

CHAPTER ONE: PIPE SMOKING
Seven Essential Pipe Skills: Plus Suggestions for the Perfect Smoke
The Benefits of Nicotine: Drug of the Devil or Gift of the Gods?
Tasting Pipe Tobacco: The Sublime and the Ambiguous
Pipe Tobacco Rating Form
Mysteries of the Break-In Process: The Roasting Effect
A New Pipe’s First Bowl: Avoiding Premature Conclusions
Notes from the Tobacco Bakery
The Air-Pocket Packing Method

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CHAPTER TWO: PIPE TOBACCOS
Adventures in Tobacco Blending: From the Sublime to the Sacrilegious
Legends Tobacco Blend
Wilderness Pipe Tobacco: A Blend or a Discovery?
Desert for Latakia Lovers: Introducing the Aromatic Latakia Bomb
Marvelous Marcovitch: A Tale of Perseverance Paying Off
Tobaccos of Yore, Tobaccos of Today: A Conversation Between Tobacco Enthusiasts

CHAPTER THREE: PIPES
Choosing the Great Briar Pipe: Factors to Consider
The Magic Pipe and the Quest for the Perfect Smoke
The Myth of Brand and Maker in Pipe Smoking and Tasting
It’s Still the Briar, Not the Brand: The Ambient-Air Effect, a Castello Rumor, and a Few Quotes
Brand Myth Epilogue: Pipe Tasting and Collecting and the Problem of Subjectivity
Charatan Pipes: Some Notes on Collecting, the Dunhill DR, the Lane Stamp, and the Great Charatan Shapes
More with Moretti
The Best Sandblasted Pipes Are Being Made by Americans
The Oom Paul’s Background
Pipe Mud: A Solution to the Problem of the High Draft Hole, Burn-Out Spots, and Other Pipe-Bowl Problems

CHAPTER FOUR: PHILOSOPHICAL MUSINGS
My Philosophy of Pipe Collecting: Talking Pipes with Rich Esserman
Pipe Smoking and Problem Solving: How the Pipe Stimulates Thought and Contemplation
The Question of Style: The Artisan, the Artist, and the Master Pipe Maker
What is Meant by Smoking Quality: Engineering Versus Taste
The Grand Community of Pipe Collectors: Pursuing the Pleasures of Pipe and Smoke

CHAPTER FIVE: WHIMSICAL EXCURSIONS
The Hidden Benefits of the Expensive Pipe Tamper
The Amazing Tinsky Cloudburst Pipe
Test Your Pipe-Collecting Knowledge

Fred H. Biographical Sketch

————————

Once again, the price of the book is $25 for U.S., $30 for Canada, and $35 for overseas. To order online, just send a Pay Pal payment and note to: bill@naspc.org. You can also use the Perfect Smoke Flyer & Order Form – PDF. NOTE: The book will be available in early May, but you can pre-order.

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Kevin Godbee is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of Pipes Magazine. Kevin started smoking pipes and cigars in 1998 and started an online cigar magazine & community site in 2005. (The site was acquired in 2008 and no longer exists.) He launched PipesMagazine.com in 2009, and in less than three years the site has become the largest trafficked pipe smoking related site, and the #1 Source for Pipes and Pipe Tobacco Information.

In the beginning of his career, Kevin worked in the hobby and specialty toy business for 16 years in sales, marketing, advertising and product development for three different manufacturers, and with his own company.

Over the last 10 years working in the online business, he has become an expert in Internet Marketing and SEO. Kevin is a Certified Master Tobacconist (CMT) through Tobacconist University, a member of Cigar Rights of America and is a "Media Member" of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association. In his spare time he sings, plays guitar, cooks, and enjoys all the wonderful places to go and things to do in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, Florida where he lives in his penthouse bachelor pad. Kevin has been smoking pipes and cigars for 14 years.

 

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F
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    Fabricio
  • March 21, 2012
Ohhh, I will get mine!!!
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    chops
  • March 21, 2012
Thanks for this! I will surely add it to my list.
K
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    kcghost
  • March 21, 2012
I will be ordering mine shortly. I think when people who don't know Fred read this they will see why he is one of the most respected men in the hobby. The GKCPC is just thrilled he is going to be our guest speaker at our annual banquet at this year's GKCPC Pipe Show.
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    Kevin
  • March 21, 2012
I can't wait to hear Fred's presentation in Kansas City, and to read the book!
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    cortezattic
  • March 21, 2012
Kevin! What a marvelously well written and beautifully illustrated promotional article! Maybe Dr. Hanna will invite you to coauthor his next opus!
.
I have enjoyed several of Dr. Hanna's web publications over the years, and I look forward to this long overdue book. It's sure to find its way onto everyone's bookshelf, which means Dr. Hanna will get writer's cramp signing copies at the Chicago show. Thanks for the heads-up.
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    bentmike
  • March 21, 2012
Great! Thanks Kevin I will be ordering a copy.
B
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    batdemon
  • March 21, 2012
Can't wait to get a copy
K
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    Kashmir
  • March 21, 2012
Thanks Kevin for bringing this to our attention. Just placed my Paypal order with Bill. Outstanding Table of Contents. Promises to be a great book. The other one my eye is on, is Neill Archer Roan's book. Thanks.
F
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    fredhanna
  • March 22, 2012
Thank you Kevin for your kind words and great review! I am deeply grateful to you.
Also, I want to make it clear that the book will not be available until Early May!
Thank you for your orders and interest!
Best regards to all,
Fred
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    Kevin
  • March 22, 2012
I'm always pleased to direct my fellow pipe smokers and collectors to new items made with them in mind, especially items that I think are extraordinary.
-
My pleasure Fred. I updated the piece to note that the book will ship in early May.
K
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    kcghost
  • March 22, 2012
Fred, we might want to have Bill Unger send some copies to the GKCPC show for sale there. I would expect after the banquet that some people will want to purchase the book.
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    Chris G
  • March 23, 2012
Hopefully early May means it will be available at the Chicago show. I can't wait to read it!
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    fred hanna
  • March 23, 2012
Thank you, Kevin, again, for all your help.
And for sure, we will have copies of the book available at the KC Show. I had so much fun at the show last year, hanging out with all those great people, that I am greatly looking forward to attending again. We all had so many laughs that I was walking around for the entire week with a frozen grin on my face.
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    bassem
  • March 24, 2012
I look forward to purchasing the book and reading it with a pipe in hand.
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    mitgaard
  • April 19, 2012
Fred! Russia is looking forward to your book!
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    ernestolondero
  • April 20, 2012
Fred great book!
Thanks.
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    danno
  • April 21, 2012
This looks like a must have.
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    fredhanna
  • April 22, 2012
Thanks guys! I hope you like the book!
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    Jimbo44
  • May 3, 2012
Well, mine arrived last weekend. I enjoyed it so much perhaps you will allow me to post a brief review:
This new book by Fred J. Hanna is something I would recommend to all who feel it worthwhile to seek knowledge of how to increase the pleasure obtained from smoking the pipe. Although Dr. Hanna is well known as a collector of straight grain pipes, this book is not about the hobby of collecting but an exploration of how to get the maximum gourmet enjoyment from the act of smoking a pipe – as it says on the tin, the perfect smoke.
Well written? Yes – although a series of essays, there is a constant theme which links the book into an articulate whole.
Wisdom from Olympus? Well, to me, yes – but not propounded in that way at all; Dr Hanna offers opinions from his experience (and experiments) in a diffident manner always acknowledging that the tastes and experience of others may be different –
( so much so in fact that we realise how much of a mischievous nature is contained in Bent’s sometimes controversial posts on forums)!
Enjoyable? Immensely so – both in the sense of fun running throughout the book and the more esoteric pleasures described as available from pipe smoking as in the enjoyment of fine wine and food.
A great book? For me it is, and is probably the one in my library of pipe books that most accords with the way I enjoy this hobby - not because it is articulate, wise or fun, but because it made me think for myself.
Thanks Fred.
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    fred hanna
  • May 3, 2012
Hi Jim,
I am greatly honored by your review. Thank you. I deeply appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts and impressions. Seems to me you really "got" what I was trying to do.
Fred
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    Duane G. Beitmen
  • May 8, 2012
Hi Fred,
I just started reading your book and so far it is Great!! This will mark the time that pipe smoking becomes very popular again!
I was told that Mark Tinsky actually wrote the book and he let you put his name on it...is that true?!?! heehee!
Duane
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    Duane G. Beitmen
  • May 8, 2012
sorry.....That should be:
I was told that Mark Tinsky actually wrote the book and he let you put "YOUR" name on it…is that true?!?! heehee!
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    Kevin
  • May 9, 2012
I am 1/4th of the way through the book, and it is super excellent! This really is a must-read for anyone that is into pipe smoking beyond just a passive pursuit. If you want to really understand pipe smoking and maximize your enjoyment, and really "get it", you have to read "The Perfect Smoke - Gourmet Pipe Smoking for Relaxation and Reflection, By Fred J. Hanna"
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    fredhanna
  • May 10, 2012
Duane G. Beitmen said:
"Hi Fred,
I just started reading your book and so far it is Great!! This will mark the time that pipe smoking becomes very popular again!
I was told that Mark Tinsky actually wrote the book and he let you put his name on it…is that true?!?! heehee!
Duane"
Hi Duane,
Thanks for your post and thank for the kind words about the book! As for Mark Tinsky... Everything I know I learned from Mark Tinsky. And everything I will ever know I will only count as knowledge if Mark Tinsky declares that it is knowledge. I don't know who told you that, but I am afraid that my problem extends far beyond this book. ;-)
Fred
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    fredhanna
  • May 10, 2012
Kevin said:
"I am 1/4th of the way through the book, and it is super excellent! This really is a must-read for anyone that is into pipe smoking beyond just a passive pursuit. If you want to really understand pipe smoking and maximize your enjoyment, and really “get it”, you have to read “The Perfect Smoke - Gourmet Pipe Smoking for Relaxation and Reflection, By Fred J. Hanna”
...
Hi Kevin.
I am very happy that you are enjoying the book--so far. It was great seeing you at the show. Thanks for your kind words and thanks again for all the great things you have done for our hobby. Pipesmagazine is a huge positive influence for pipe smoking and something of which we can all be proud.
Fred
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    fredhanna
  • May 10, 2012
mitgaard said:
"Fred! Russia is looking forward to your book!"
...
That is very exciting! Thank you for your interest. I hope you are not disappointed.
Fred
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    fredhanna
  • May 10, 2012
ernestolondero said:
"Fred great book!
Thanks."
...
Thank you!
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    Duane G. Beitmen
  • May 10, 2012
Hi Fred,
I probably shouldn't give this away this, BUT I will acknowledge my source...heehee!
I was ordering a briar from Mark Tinsky and I mentioned your book and he said,
"I wrote that book and let Fred put his name on it...Go ahead and ask him!"
Mark is a "funny guy" and he said that you would get a kick out of my asking! heehee!
I'm farther into your book now and it is really good...and...without even trying, I'm automatically becoming more mindful when I smoke my pipe!
Duane
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    fredhanna
  • May 10, 2012
"Duane G. Beitmen said:
Hi Fred,
I probably shouldn’t give this away this, BUT I will acknowledge my source…heehee!
I was ordering a briar from Mark Tinsky and I mentioned your book and he said,
“I wrote that book and let Fred put his name on it…Go ahead and ask him!”
Mark is a “funny guy” and he said that you would get a kick out of my asking! heehee!
I’m farther into your book now and it is really good…and…without even trying, I’m automatically becoming more mindful when I smoke my pipe!
Duane"
Hi Duane,
Great to hear you are discovering the benefits of mindful pipesmoking!
And thank you for revealing your source. Yes, it is true that Mark is the true author. He allowed me to think that it was mine because of his great compassion and caring for others. I suggest to you that whenever you find yourself wondering about an issue or a question about life, call Mark and ask him what the correct answer is. Mark Tinsky is the only person I have ever met, in any state or country, who is always right. ;-)
Fred
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    Duane G. Beitmen
  • May 10, 2012
Hi Fred,
Your comments about Mark Tinsky are more of a reflection on you then anything else. Your level of humility, great compassion and caring for others is one of the aspects of your book that I found most enjoyable and it's my honor to be having this discussion with you. I'm sure your book will be a great success and will help many people, like myself, to enjoy their life a little more!
Duane
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    Duane G. Beitmen
  • May 10, 2012
Hey Fred,
I forgot to give you a "special thanks" for the method you give on how to rate tobacco blends. I tried to do that on my own and I wound up with a whole bunch of papers laying around, but in re-reading them I had no more of an idea of where things stood then I did before I started and I just throw the papers away! heehee!
I'm only about half way through the book and I have already gained more then I would have ever imagined from your sharing your experences and suggestions!
Thanks,
Duane
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    fredhanna
  • May 11, 2012
Hi Duane,
Thank you for your feedback. It is very valuable to me. I am happy to know that you found the tasting form for pipe tobaccos to be valuable. I am also very happy to know that the book is continuing to hold your interest!
Fred
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    Duane G. Beitmen
  • May 12, 2012
Hi,
Well, now that we know who actually wrote the book "The Perfect Smoke"...by "Fred J. Hanna"..."Fred did!"...and seeing how I somehow got hooked into this book review, I have to review it correctly...(because my own reputation is at stake here! heehee!)
I read up to page 57 and then I met with Fred's chapter on the tobacco blends "he" made and how "Great" they are, (which happen to be for sale). Although it was very good reading...I sort of felt belittled and as if I had been sucked into a self-serving advertisement. But, the book up to this point has been so great and very helpful to me and, although opinionated, it has been very honest. So I decided, maybe I'm misjudging him, maybe his writing about "his" own blends is "his" just being honest about things and Fred is actually just trying to help us to find that "perfect smoke"! So, I sent off for a tin of his "Legends" and one of his "Wilderness" pipe tobacco blends...and I'll get back with you later after I sample them! (Being aware that one person's trash is another person's treasure...especially with food, wine & tobacco.) heehee!
Duane
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    fredhanna
  • May 12, 2012
Hi Duane,
My purpose in writing the articles about my blends, believe it or not, was not to sell tobacco. Actually, I wanted to write about the experience that I had putting the blends together and the impressions that people had of them. If it came across as an advertisement, I apologize. I was worried that it might and I see that in your case my message did not come across in the way I hoped. Like I said, I am sorry.
On the other hand, they are my tobaccos and of course I would think they are good! For a long time, I debated whether I should write about them in the book. And I figured some might take it as self-serving. But just as Greg Pease writes positive things about his tobaccos on his website, I decided to write what I thought of these blends in my book. Oh well.
As I wrote repeatedly in the essays on Wilderness and Legends, these blends are not for everybody and they may not be for you as well. You may be disappointed... BUT remember that when you do get them, open the tin and let the tobacco be exposed to the air while before before smoking.
Once again, I am sorry. And allow me to add that the amount of money that I have received from those tobaccos is not much. But the joy I derived from making them, and writing about them, was huge.
Fred
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    Duane G. Beitmen
  • May 12, 2012
Relax Fred,
Certainly no need to apologize...heehee! I really enjoyed reading that section too...You are a good writer and I was able to feel your experiences as my own...and you have inspired me to do a little blending on my own too! (One of which has turned out really great! heehee!)
And "If" your book had ended at page 57...It would have been already well worth the price of the book to me. But...I still want to smoke those blends....Yes!! I am looking for "The Perfect Smoke!....and, I think, you have pointed me in the right direction!
Duane
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    fredhanna
  • May 12, 2012
Thank you Duane. Your comments are much appreciated. Good luck with your adventures in blending. I think it is one of the unsung joys of our hobby.
Fred
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    Duane G. Beitmen
  • May 13, 2012
Hi Fred,
I honestly don't believe that your chapter on blending tobacco was self serving because it would be so out of character from all you had written before that, so don't take "my paranoia" personally...(besides that it has already helped me...heehee!)...it's just an automatic red flag that goes up in me from past/present experiences. Like I'm a first time visiter to "Pipemagazine" and I was looking for something on their "Home Page" that might tell me who they are and what they are all about...and, unless I missed something, about all that I see are advertisements and where I can sign up...and as you know...that is a common thing everywhere.
Your book is great and a "must" read for anyone that smokes a pipe or that is even thinking about it...or for anyone who wants to better understand those that do!
You should probably put this on Amazon where you don't have all the advertisements in your face.
Duane
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    Duane G. Beitmen
  • May 16, 2012
Had my first bowl of “Wilderness” and it took about half the bowl for me just to get my footing properly in place. As is mentioned in Fred’s book, a person’s mind set and attitude has a lot to do with smoking a pipe and tasting tobacco…and I sat down to smoke “Wilderness!” A wilderness to me consists of pine needles and jagged rocks and I didn’t think much of it at all with that attitude. But, when I let the tobacco tell me where it was coming from, I (mentally) found myself sitting in a soft leather chair with a smoking jacket on (reality was a plastic chair and a T-shirt, so I really enjoyed the vision) and with nice people around me to socialize with. Then it was delicious! It’s a very polite, smooth and sophisticated smoke with a very nice creamy taste, that I can’t quit describe, just after each puff. And, I found it “very” relaxing! I found the tobacco great, but Fred sure misnamed it…he should have named it “Destiny” or “Serenity” or something that better reflects it’s “smoothing politeness”.
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    Yavuz Korpefiliz
  • May 23, 2012
Kevin what you guys have done in pipesmagazine.com is amazing.
I have never ever seen such a nice pipe forum for years...
Most of the pipe and cigar forums are run by people with lack
of education & social media knowledge. Those old school forum administrators who have the exclusive possession of the forum,end up in monotonous chanting of the same members ,and social masturbation of some people helping them to satisfy their thirst for being in the limelight.
Therefore ; I strongly believe that pipesmagazine.com will be the leader pipes magazine in the coming years.The advertisers' interest and the rapidly increasing population of the forum are just a few evidences of this fact.
All the Bests
& Warm Regards
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    Yavuz Korpefiliz
  • May 23, 2012
Great Book , Fred..
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    fredhanna
  • May 23, 2012
Thank you, Yavuz!
Fred
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    Duane G. Beitmen
  • May 26, 2012
I finished reading Dr. Hanna's book and I guess I'll just go back and keep re-reading it (because there is nothing better out here to read on pipe smoking) that is until his next book in his: "The Perfect Smoke" SERIES comes out. I think the next one will be about the religious and spiritual aspects of smoking a pipe. (I hope I'm not giving anything away here), but I believe it "might" be called "Zen and the Art of Smoking a Pipe"...or something like that?!?! heehee!
Duane
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    NB
  • September 19, 2012
Fred, I was wondering whether this book will ever be available in Kindle format (or PDF)? With the current increase in popularity of pipe smoking in younger demographics - some quote up to a 600% increase since 2007 - I think it's a worthwhile consideration to think about exploring markets that this market is more familiar with: books in electronic form.
This book is no longer available. Tried to order but check returned with note that it is no longer available.
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