The arts-and-crafts Web site Etsy recently published an extract from David Rees’s new book, “How to Sharpen Pencils.” The extract—a meticulously detailed guide to the correct use of single-blade pocket sharpeners—was lavishly illustrated with monochrome photographs of Rees at work wearing an apron, a set of head-mounted magnifying goggles, and a craftman’s expression of sombre pride. The comment-thread reactions were unusually good-humored, although many readers felt the need to point out the date on which the extract was posted. “Nearly had me, lol—happy April 1st!!!,” wrote one. “Happy April Fool’s Day yourself, Mr. Rees,” wrote another. You couldn’t blame these cordial commenters for thinking the whole thing was a poker-faced hoax, and that the aproned gentleman in the photographs tweezering pencil shavings into a sealable plastic bag was gently mocking the whole neo-artisanal culture for which Etsy serves as an online fulcrum.