...if you have a genuine love for knots. My fascination with knots grew out of years spent as a stage hand, where it was a necessity to know how to tie a bowline, a clove hitch, the occassional trucker's hitch, and of course knots tied on the bight when you're sixty feet above the stage having to tie off a 100' rope to the grid.
I would probably guess that 99% of people who know knots have learned them from others, who in turn have inherited their knowledge from someone else. It's a tradition, that's how I learned. In this day and age though, where for all practical purposes the art of knot tying is dying (if it is not already room temperature), _The Ashley Book of Knots_ is keeping that tradition alive, even though it may have been published well over 50 years ago. The drawings aren't always the clearest (it does help to have some knowledge of knot tying in hand when reading the book), but they are sufficient and with enough time and perseverance, the knots are doable. On the other hand, while it is one thing to know how a knot is tied, it is another to know its history and practical use. And that is where this voluminous book shines. As far as historical archives are concerned, this is one of the best, if not THE best, and you will want to have it in your bathroom... err, your library.