Re: (fwd) Re: list of *good* books

Subject: Re: (fwd) Re: list of *good* books
From: Marilynne Smith <mrsmith -at- CTS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 21:15:00 PST

At 08:31 AM 1/23/96 -0600, Connie Winch wrote:
>Susan Gallagher wrote

>>Responding to Marilynne's list of good books:

>>>I also own "Mapping Hypertext" by Robert E. Horn, (to order call
>>>1-800-890-7003) 1989. This book is a little odd, but I think a lot of the
>>>information and ideas presented are useful to writing in general. This book
>>>is put out by the Information Mapping people, but you can buy just the book.
>>Never read it, but I probably will now (thanks Marilynne!).

>I was going to respond to Marilynne's comment about this book but changed
>my mind. Then I saw this response and changed my mind again. If she's
>talking about the book I think she is (and I'm pretty sure she is), I had
>it as a college textbook a few years ago. I don't think "a little odd"
>quite does it justice (I use that term quite loosely!).

>I simply can't recommend it for the sole reason that the author tried,
>without success in my opinion, to put what should be linear (a hardcopy
>book) into a non-linear format to imitate hyptertext. The result, for
>myself and my classmates anyways, was confusion and a lack of desire to
>ever pick the book up again. Every page had probably a half dozen "jumps"
>to other places in the book, and the graphic layout of the book did not
>make me want to read any of it, either. For these reasons I remember
>probably not one iota of the book's contents; I only remember its poor and
>self-defeating design.

>| Connie E. Winch
>| cew -at- macola -dot- usa -dot- com
<mouse was eating on this . . . Marilynne <grin, burp>

You know, the book's oddness intrigued me. The idea that he was trying to
explain hypertext and jumps in a book is kind of a neat one. I admit to
having a kind of free wheeling freedom when I was reading. It was fun to
just jump around in the book and read what I pleased.

I agree with you that it would be tough to read it from front to back, but
the author really didn't want you to read it that way anyway.

By the time I picked it up I had a lot of technical writing experience and
was wanting to understand how Help worked. The book did help me do that. I
can see that some people's experience is quite different.

I liked the following section because it's easy and direct:

To Order This Book
(617) 980-7003
or Write
The Lexington Institute
80 Marrett Road
Lexington, MA 02173

It worked too. I first got this information from a borrowed copy. I called
the number and soon had the book. No sweat.

So, sorry you didn't enjoy the book. This group is diverse enough for me
not to expect that everyone would like what I like. Since I like diversity
in people, I wasn't disappointed.

I still recommend the book.

Marilynne Smith
mrsmith -at- cts -dot- com

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