Archery books to liven up lockdown

April 2nd 2020
Vicky Sartain

Why not use the Covid-19 lockdown to catch up on some reading? Now’s an ideal time to gen up on the theory before we return to practice.

The Archery for Beginners Guidebook was published by Archery GB in 2012, and was designed to guide beginners through their first steps in target archery. It covers the basics regarding different types of archery, range safety, equipment, technique, scoring and competitions. It’s fully illustrated, easy to follow and a must-have reference book. Hannah Bussey, Archery GB’s Head of Coaching Development and one of the book’s authors (along with Jane Percival and Andy Hood) said: “It isn’t always easy taking up a new sport. To begin with it can all seem a little alien, but with a bit of assurance and direction, it’s surprising how easy and fun it is to get to grips with archery. We developed this guidebook to give beginners a starting point, to accompany them in the early stages when everything seems a bit confusing and they are worried about getting it wrong. This book will help new archers get into good habits from the start. It has been written for all ages and can be used by clubs as a resource for new members.”

Order online through our Archery GB shop as well as through Amazon and selected retailers highlighted here.


Zen in the Art of Archery: Training the Mind and Body to Become One

Author: Eugen Herrigel; Publisher: Penguin

If you like your archery with a little spiritual awakening, German philosophy professor Eugen Herrigal leads us through the story of his fascinating six-year learning journey into the sport via Japanese Zen masters. First published in 1948, its insight into Zen principles remains relevant. The author had an interest in mysticism and abandoned Western principles to study a form of Japanese archery during the 1920s, later developing this guide to shooting as an art form from a Buddhist perspective. A central theme is how, through years of practice, a physical activity becomes effortless both mentally and physically.


The Competitive Archer

Author: Simon Needham; Publisher: The Crowood Press

Get into the competitive spirit so that as soon as lockdown ends you’ll be streets ahead! Simon Needham’s book is a practical guide for those looking to develop their skills in the archery arena, with step by step tuition for success. It includes interviews with world-ranking archers and offers practical advice for those wanting to up their game, whether that’s a local amateur event or world-record-status tournaments.


Archery Anatomy: An Introduction to Techniques for Improved Performance

Author: Ray Axford; Publisher: Souvenir Press

Discover how to perfect your skill through an understanding of anatomy, both of the bow and the human body. This book details how archery utilises key parts of the body, combining diagrams with explanatory text, with the aim of helping you re-evaluate your technique and understand ways that you might improve your shooting through small adjustments.

These title are available online through all good retailers.


And finally, a note about an archery book you won’t find in the shops:

On 18 March 2020, a book sold at auction at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire. The manuscript, simply titled ‘Archery’ dates to the early 20th century and was compiled by Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey of Thirkleby Park. Its 101 pages contain research notes on the Turkish bow with tables of dimensions and flight distances, notes on the construction of composite bows, bowstrings, and photographs of Chinese archery among many other detailed items. It comprises photographs, tables, plates, sketches and diagrams, and was estimated to sell for £600-£900. It surpassed all expectations when it sold for £2,600.

If you know anything else about this fascinating book, we’d love to hear about it. Please get in touch by emailing us:

Latest News

Sign up for the latest news

Get all the latest news from Archery GB

To join our mailing list, simply click this box to subscribe