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Best Archery Books – 5 Expert Reviews

Last Updated: August 21, 2020
Alexander Herbert
Product Review by Alexander Herbert

There’s a lot more to archery than just shooting arrows. It has a colorful history, and there’s so much thought and practice that goes into perfecting your shots, stance and style.

Although there are numerous guides available on the internet, along with tutorials and blogs about the sport, nothing beats a good old-fashioned book when it comes to brushing up on your archery facts and history.

You may have perfected the physical side of it, but many archery books can get you in the right headspace for archery. There are archery books that include history, facts, tricks and tips, and even fiction – there’s something for every archery enthusiast.

Keep reading for our reviews of 5 of the top archery books, and our buyers guide on how to choose the best book for you!

Our Reviews

Full of skills, techniques, and strategies, this book will help you shoot accurately, consistently, and safely.

The book covers:

  • Selection, fitting, tuning and upgrading equipment
  • Assessing, refining, and perfecting shooting form
  • Compensating for common weather conditions
  • Technical and mental exercises for improved accuracy
  • Preparing, practicing and planning for competition
  • Bowhunting strategies for judging distance and shooting on uneven terrain
  • Traditional archery – for those wanting to use basic equipment instead of modern technology

This book includes 93 exercises to help improve your game and hit your mark. Also included is a scoring system – which helps you track your progress. You can learn at your own pace, and develop your shooting techniques and shot patterns in your own time.

There are two authors of this book – Kathleen M. Haywood and Catherine Lewis. Ms. Haywood is a former competitor who has taught the sport at several universities and she has a background in motor learning and development; which she puts to use in this book.

Ms. Lewis is also a former competitor, who has taught archery in both school and camp settings.

Pros

  • Very informative
  • Perfect for beginners and those with more experience
  • Well illustrated

Cons

  • Not for high-level archers

As you can guess from the title, this book focuses less on the game itself, but on the actual bows and arrows.

This guidebook will delve into the realm of natural bow building, combining three decades of first-hand knowledge and experience from an avid bowman – Clay Hayes. If you’re thinking about building your own bow, modifying a bow, or are just interested in the design, you can learn it all from this book.

In this book, Clay Hayes writes about many different types of wood, and how to shape the different woods into strong and fast bows.

It’s super easy to understand. Even if you’ve never picked up a bow before, this book has enough detail for you to create your own bow from scratch. Each section is well labeled, so you can just flick to the area you need and get the information ready to reference.

Pros

  • Perfect for aspiring bowyers
  • Easy to read
  • Lots of invaluable hands-on advice

Cons

  • Specific to traditional style bows

If you’re serious about improving your archery skills and techniques, then this book will be a worthy read for you.

The author, Ray Axford, debunks popular myths to do with archery, and sets the facts straight for you with science. This clear and concise book will be useful to you wherever you are on the globe. Many books on Archery are focused on U.S. archery – but this book is suited to Archers all over the world.

Clear, accurate and efficient drawings and diagrams are used to provide a primer on the subject, that’s easy to understand even for those who have never picked up a bow before.
The sections are easy to digest and easy to find when you need to reference it.

This is one of the only books that focus’ on the anatomy of the human body and the anatomy of the bow – with information and ties to the interrelationship between the two.

Pros

  • Very visual
  • Fantastic for both amateur and professional use
  • Concisely written

Cons

  • Might be overly technical for beginners
  • Some outdated information

As the title suggests, this is a guide for beginners – but even professionals could learn something from this book by Brian J. Sorrells.

This is an easy to understand instruction for traditional archery, and covers both target shooting and bowhunting.
The author also included an exclusive tiered training program for instinctive shooting, with in-depth advice on how to select bows, arrows and any archery accessories.

If you’re a beginner, this is the first book you need to read to step foot inside the world of archery
You’ll learn many basics from this book, from selecting arrow shafts to refining your form to entering your first tournament.

This book cuts the nonsense and delves straight in with a detailed guide to archery. If you’ve never shot an arrow before in your life, or if you’re already an archer, you’re bound to benefit from reading this guide.

The author, Brian Sorrels, is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He spent four years in the U.S. army before beginning a career in law enforcement.
He has shot and hunted with the longbow for more than two decades. He is a masthead contributor for Traditional Bowhunter magazine, and also writes regularly for many other archery and hunting mags – so it’s clear he really knows what he’s talking about.

Pros

  • Beginner friendly
  • Very informative
  • Experienced author

Cons

  • Doesn't include the absolute basics

Some of the world’s top archery coaches pooled together to write this book, and it’s full or tips and ways you can improve your archery game.
If you’re a wannabe professional golfer, or just wanting to take the sport a bit more seriously, this book will be perfect for you.

This book is written by The USAA, which is the national governing body for the sport of archery in the United States.
The USAA is also a member association of World Archery, which is the International governing body for archery as recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

Treat this book as your guide. Reading it will help you improve your accuracy, increase your consistency, and achieve competitive success.

You’ll master the skills and techniques taught in the U.S. Olympic Training Centre. Legendary coach KiSic Lee has plenty of tips and techniques for you in this book.

Here are some things you’ll learn from this book:

  • How to select and properly tune equipment
  • How to develop a winning shot sequence
  • How to set up, draw and complete the shot
  • How to maximise your practice time
  • How to train physically and mentally for competition
  • How to develop a successful tournament strategy

If you need to improve in any of those areas, this book is a must-read.

Pros

  • Tips and techniques by KiSik Lee
  • Written by USA Archery
  • Perfect for professionals
  • Advice from some of the worlds best archery coaches

Cons

  • Not necessarily beginner-friendly
  • Could have more illustrations and pictures

What Book Do I Need?

Every book is different, and it can be hard to find the right archery book for you. You must consider what you’re looking to get out of reading the book. What do you want to learn? Are you reading for fun or for knowledge?

Archery Books for Beginners

Archery is a great sport to invest yourself in. Since its rise in popular culture – for example, The Hunger Games, it’s become a beloved sport for many.

If you’re not sure where to begin, then you’ll need a book for archery beginners. There are lots of guides available on the market, so be sure to select one for your skill level.

Archery books for beginners should include tips on what equipment to buy, and should include the basics.

From a beginner’s book, you should learn a bit of background of the sport as well as how to actually shoot an arrow.

Archery has a colorful history – being a part of humanity since we started using tools. Even the Ancient Egyptians adopted archery around 3000BC for hunting and warfare. It first appeared in the Olympic Games as a sport in 1900 and has been played competitively worldwide since then.

Subject

There’s a lot that goes into archery – so, therefore, there are plenty of different books about the sport. The books can be generic, or specific to a certain aspect. You may be looking to learn about a particular area of the sport or just a generic guide on the sport.

Bows

It can be difficult choosing which bows are best for you, and it can even be hard to understand the differences between the different types of bows.

Luckily, there are books dedicated to, or that has sections on archery bows.

There are predominately four types of archery bow:

  • Recurve
  • Compound
  • Longbow
  • Crossbows

If you’re unsure what those bows are, or which one is for you, then be sure to find a book that will explain it all. It’s always best to check the contents of the book before purchasing or to see what it covers.

Skill Building

There are hundreds of books out there that specialize in improving your archery skills.

It’s usually books written by professionals, or that include tips and quotes from popular archers that are the most helpful for improving your game.

The best archery book for skill-building will include step by step guides and genuine advice from archers with experience in the sport.

The sections should be labeled and organized well, so you can flick to the chapter you need when necessary.

Anatomy

The way you stand when shooting can make or break your shot. You may be interested in the interrelationship between the anatomy of the bow and of the human body – and this knowledge can greatly improve your shot.

Author

All kinds of different people write books on archery – even people that have never picked up a bow in their lives.

You may prefer to purchase a book written by an author with plenty of archery experience.

There are numerous books on the market written by serious archery competitors – and their shared first-hand experiences can prove invaluable.

University professors and archery teachers have also written books and guides on archery, which, especially as a beginner, you may prefer as they include tips and tricks that have actually helped them.

If you’re a serious archery competitor, you may trust a professional and their opinions on the sport.

It’s always best to check the author’s background and experience before purchasing a book – and pick one that you trust.

Recap

Every single archery book we reviewed is different, and you can learn a lot from each one. Archery is a complicated sport with lots of aspects and required a lot of practice to perfect.

In our opinion, the best archery book is the Traditional Bowyer’s Handbook: How to build wooden bows and arrows.

The author, Clay Hayes, clearly knows what he’s talking about. Clay is an avid archer and spends most of his time with a bow and arrow. He shares a lot of the knowledge he has gained in his career as a wildlife biologist, primitive bowyer and bowhunter.

The book specialized in building wooden bows and arrows and goes into depth on the different types of wood that can be used and how they’re useful.

If you want to know more about how you can build your own archery equipment, then definitely consider purchasing this handbook.

What is your view on our top pick? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this with your archer friends.

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