Freelance journalist Jonathan Bender spent more than a year of his life diving headlong into the AFOL culture. AFOL stands for “adult fans of LEGO,” and if you’re reading this blog, then I have no doubt that you’re one of them.
The culmination of his efforts is a memoir called LEGO: A Love Story, and it’ll be in stores next month from Wiley publishing. The book is a 300-page tome that details Bender’s trip into the adult LEGO fan world, his own attempts to rekindle the LEGO builder within, and personal reflections on a creation of a different kind: his first child. It features a hardcover binding, and it’s priced at $24.95 (Amazon has it for $16.47). It even boasts cover artwork that features an original LEGO sculpture by master brick artist Nathan Sawaya.
For the book, Bender entered challenges at AFOL conventions, got to visit LEGO headquarters in Denmark (and even descended into the secret LEGO Set Vault, where one of every LEGO set ever released is catalogued and stored), and tried to find the biggest private collection of LEGO bricks in America. AFOLs are quirky folk — as most creatives are — and Bender found some of the most interesting ones to include in his book.
If you’d like to preview LEGO: A Love Story, Google Books has three chapters of it available to view online. You can also go inside the mind of Jonathan Bender as he undertook this life-altering journey, via his “Brick Bender” blog, where he chronicled his entire adventure, day-by-day.