The WORST book...was Re: Online technical writing bookstore

Subject: The WORST book...was Re: Online technical writing bookstore
From: Jane Bergen <janeb -at- AIRMAIL -dot- NET>
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 18:57:46 +600

On 25 May 97 at 21:03, Gary Conroy wrote:

> The subject line makes this sound rather grander than it actually
> is. To cut to the quick: I've added a list of books to my
> technical writing site (
> Hoo-bloody-ray, you might say. What's different is that you can
> also purchase these books online by arrangement with
> Please root around. If your favourite book isn't listed, tell me
> why it should be in there. P'raps you've uncovered the mother and
> father of all PageMaker books (I haven't). Conversely, if you spot
> a tome full of misleading and inaccurate rubbish, let me know.
> Gary Conroy

Gary, I just got a book from the Graphic Design Book Club that tech
writers might *THINK* they're interested in, but it's absolutely the
craziest, ugliest, book I've ever seen. It's "Designer's Gide to the
Internet" by Zender, Fine, and Albertson. I don't know what these
guys were smoking, but here's a few of my observations:

1) the entire book is centered in a single narrow column (full
justification, no less) with bizarre rules that bleed into the text.

2) the book is about web design but all pictures are dark, monotone
photos of web pages that are often just plain unreadable.

3) the font is a sans serif with extra spacing between the

4) the page numbers are deep inside the inside (bound side) of the
book. Makes hunting for page numbers a real treat!

5) headings are same size, font as regular text but are CENTERED in
the middle of the centered column.

I could go on and on, but I honestly thought when I opened this book
that it was some kind of crazy, sick joke. It looks like an art
student's revenge.... has anyone else seen this book? Maybe I'm the
one out of step, but it seems to me to be a perfect candidate for
what a technical book ought NOT to do! The only reason I have not
sent it back to the book club is that it's so bad it's unbelievable.
It's a collector's item. No way would I actually attempt to read it.

Jane Bergen

"my opinions are my own..."
Jane Bergen, Technical Writer
janeb -at- airmail -dot- net
AnswerSoft, Inc. Dallas, TX

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Writer for Web wanted in Twin Cities for interview
Next by Author: Re: Frame imported graphics
Previous by Thread: Re: Karen Schriver's new book
Next by Thread: Interleaf/Word Comparison

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads