Recently I started doing more book reviews so I wanted to include some sort of guide based on my ratings…
Presentation- This area includes things such as general impression of the book (production, style), text size, readability, color schemes, diagrams, outputs and other visual aides present to assist with learning. How well the book flows from start to finish.
Content- Probably one of the more important sections. How true does the book stay to its title and description? Examples would be a certification guide covering all the content on the exam blueprint. How accurate and well does the author do with presenting the information. Rates information about a given subject and how the overall subject matter coverage extends.
Practicality- Is this a book that you can use while practicing with hardware in a lab? If I’m trying to learn how to configure something, how useful is the book as a guide? Some books will be mostly theory based and may not score as well in this area. Consider this rating if you’re looking for something you can use in your practical studies.
Shelf Appeal- This is where I consider how long I would want to keep this book around. After reading the book it’s either worth its place on your bookshelf or to be sold online (or somewhere in between).
Value- Quite simply, is this book worth the price tag? After reading you either feel like you wasted your money or it was money well spent.
The overall rating is not an average of the categories above. It doesn’t make much sense to provide an overall rating based on the sum of its parts. For example, some books will be more theory based by design and won’t lend much to practical studies. Some books may be more of a reference guide designed for a particular certification and therefore you probably won’t keep it around very long.
Overall rating scale
10 (Too good for words)– This book is brilliant and will have a place on your bookshelf forever.
9 (Serious ownage)– An amazing book with only a few very minor flaws that are forgivable.
8 (Great)– Great but fell short in some small areas. Still highly recommended and a must buy.
7 (Good)– On the cusp of greatness. The book may have missed in a few key areas but it doesn’t stop it from being a good read.
6 (Ok)– The book was decent but I probably wont keep it around because it wasn’t very memorable and had a lot to be desired.
5 (bleh)– Definitely not firing on all cylinders. You will probably find yourself not being able to read the whole thing.
4 (bad)– Books of this caliber probably don’t make you feel any better than before you started. In some cases, it may make things worse…
3 (ew)– You are probably trying to get your money back after reading this book. This book is ill-inspiring.
2 (anti-good)– If you see this book for sale in the store just point and laugh because it’s terrible.
1 (firewood)– The only thing this book is good for is keeping you warm on a cold winter night.