It is McDiarmid's experiences as he learns his craft and enters the arena of competitive bootblacking that set the tone of "Bootblacking 101." While the autobiographical final chapter deals just as much with preparedness and the rules of most contests, the description of the event is an informative
Be that as it may, "Bootblacking 101" covers the ground you really need to know. If you want to get in on the beginner's level, the first third of the book details "The Basic Bootshine." For bootblacks on a budget, there is a boot-kit that you can put together for about twenty bucks.