I buy books that inspire me. It is very rare that I actually use a pattern straight from a book. I swoon over the pictures, log the basic idea in my mental file and learn new techniques that I can apply to my own creations. Some of my favorite books are older publications that have some great basic retro-type ideas.
This book, "200 Creative Crafts for You & Your Home" is packed with exactly what it says, 200 pieces of inspiration. Most of these ideas are simple and fast to create.