The chimney on the home we just bought, like the rest of the property, has not been maintained. The bricks appear to be in good shape, but the mortar between them has turned to sand. It can be removed with bare fingers without too much effort. I have been reading a little about repointing and it seems there is a lot to it both in terms of application technique and knowledge of materials. I have three questions. Is this kind of complete break down in the mortar typical for the age of the chimney and the the materials that were used at the time? Also, is this repointing project something I could reasonably tackle myself? (Given that I have no experience I am inclined call in the pros, but at the same time, I would love to learn how to do it.) Thirdly, can anyone recommend a book (technical but not too technical) to get me started? Thanks.