I have, unfortunately, done significantly more reading about kites than I've done kite flying. That's the downside to living all of my life in places with beautiful hills covered in trees.

My interest in kites — apart from the usual love of dime-store plastic kites that all children have for a while — started in my early teens when I borrowed from the library Will Yolen's The Complete Book of Kites and Kite Flying. It's a somewhat old book — it was out of print even when I borrowed it, though a few years ago I did manage to find a copy over the internet being sold by a library somewhere in Kansas. But the art of kite flying, while it's moved on, was still pretty well developed by Yolen's time.

The Complete Book of Kites and Kite Flying is partly a handbook of kites and how to make them, and partly the memoirs of a retired man who became addicted to kite flying. Yolen traveled to some interesting places for kite flying, and even took part in a few kite duels — contests where the participants coat their kite strings in abrasive materials and then try to cut each other's kite strings using their own kite's line.

I've since collected several other books about kites. My interests are mostly in Indian fighter kites (agile single-line stunt kites) and heavy-lifting inflatable wind-sock kites like parafoils and flowforms.

I've made a few Indian fighter kites and some shaped delta kites, though I've yet to attempt a flowform.

I'm also interested in some day trying out kite-fishing. It's a lot of work, but I've heard that it's often more successful than regular fishing because the lure is so far away from the boat.