Markus Jais <mjais / web.de> wrote in message > 
> I have some of these "in 21 days" or "in 24 hours" books
> and most of them are really good. the title is stupid but
> it does not mean that the book is but

I used to sneer at these books until I picked up "Golf for Dummies"
(because I considered myself a golf dummy) by Gary McCord (?) and was
surprised by how right-on (and funny, too) the book was for me.  My
next Dummies book was "Negotiating for Dummies" -- and I must say I
haven't since then lost a negotiation with my teenage son. That's
quite a feat.

My point is this: Apart from blatant erroneous facts (and the Dummies
books are actually written by experts. Jim McLean, in the top-three
list of best golf teachers in the world has a golf book in the Dummies
(or Idiots) series.) a book is as good or as bad to a reader as the
reader is ready or not ready for the level of presentation. The Ruby
Pickaxe book is widely accepted because the level of presentation hits
the mark of most of the intended audience.

One of my "worst" purchases was the first edition of Programming
Python (1996) by Mark Lutz. It was my first Python book. I think the
book set me back in learning Python for about three years. IMHO, the
book rolled all over the reader with the finesse of a bulldozer, and
there I was, all the while wondering if the time has finally arrived
that I cannot pick up a new, supposedly easy to learn, language.
Recently, I decided that the best way to learn about the Internet is
to do Internet scripting, so I picked up PP the second edition (I
still prefer Ruby, but I program from examples and I find that there
are still many good Python examples around) and I have no problem with
it. (This was after I read Daryl Harms The Quick Python Book, an
excellent beginner book).

The moral of the story is that had Moses heeded the 11th commandment
"Thou shalt not buy any in-21-days book", he would have missed out on
the Jim McLean golf book and Moses would still be slicing his ball.

(Pssst! Wanna buy Programming in Python, 1st Edition, by Mark Lutz?)

rmc