Top 10 annoying things about opening books
Ok so here are my top 10 most annoying things about books. I hate it when writers do these things, so if you're a writer, then make sure that you don't do these things.
1. No lay-out
If your book is 1000 pages of dry plain text then it hurts my eyes. It's also very hard to look up important stuff in a book that has no lay-out. Titles and important words in bold, different colors for important lines or diagrams, maybe some images: whatever helps to make your text look nicer to read. Except comic sans.
2. No style
It's not so hard to make your text nicer to read. Some quick tips:
- Be to the point. Long sentences suck.
- Don't use difficult words to sound clever.
- Keep it fun.
I hate it to follow an opening line that ends with an evaluation like ± or +0.75 and no explanation. Many things are not so obvious, and your readers have to understand you, so make an effort and explain your points.
Also, a good opening book doesn't stop when the theory stops. A good opening book also talks about the plans for the middlegame and sometimes the endgame. I can't really play an opening if I don't know what to do after I read a meaningless "equal". Use examples, games, references, but not just "equal".
4. No study tips
How do I learn the material the best way? And how and when do I apply the material? Sparring drills? Cramming? Exercises? Tips?
It would be nice if the book is not just a book but also a trainer with tips, tricks and other recommendations.
5. No summaries
Summaries are key. Every important chapter should have a summary. It's also like that in my history book: if every chapter has a summary then I can understand much better what it was all about. Also I can read it fast before the test to refresh my memory so I learn better.
6. Not enough diagrams
Sometimes I want to read a book without a board or my computer, and diagrams help very much. It also helps to remember the important positions and it also helps to get back to a position when you study.
7. No questions or exercises
You learn stuff the best when you have to do something with the stuff that you learn. When I learn for a test then my parents sometimes ask me to explain it to them, and I learn the most with that. I love Q&A ideas, because good questions and exercises can help you to think about the right things.
I expect that your book is as complete as possible, so all the critical lines have to be in there. I'm not happy if I don't find one word about a line that I have trouble with. I understand that opening theory changes every day, but if you miss many critical lines then you wrote a bad book. And if you wrote a bad book then I can't rely on it.
I feel cheated if I read a book for an opening for one side and the writer doesn't talk about the plans for the other side. If you really want to understand an opening, you have to know the plans from both sides. It also doesn't work if you want to have sparring drills to learn an opening.
10. Propaganda II
I'm reading your book, so I already trust that I can learn something from you. If your own life stories are irrelevant for the points that you want to make, then don't put them in your book. You don't need it there anyway.