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Are book recommendations on-topic for Board and Card Games? I didn't see a specific reference in the FAQ or in Meta.BaCG about this.

I know many (most?) of the SE sites discourage or disallow questions asking for book recommendations, as they are generally non-constructive.

However, with some games there is an extensive literature, some of which is very topic specific.

For example,

Can anyone recommend a book on how to learn to play Go?

should be closed as non-constructive, as answers would be opinion based.

But what about one like,

I have read a few beginner Go books, and think I have a handle on the scenarios/problems they present, but I am still having trouble with actual gameplay. Is there a beginner's book that focus more on "how to play" rather than on beginner problems, but is not overwhelming to a new Go player?

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Most recommendation questions can be improved by omitting your built-in requirements upon the answer.

Consider your original question:

I have read a few beginner Go books, and think I have a handle on the scenarios/problems they present, but I am still having trouble with actual gameplay. Is there a beginner's book that focus more on "how to play" rather than on beginner problems, but is not overwhelming to a new Go player?

My rewrite would be:

I have read a few beginner Go books, and think I have a handle on the scenarios/problems they present, but I am still having trouble with actual gameplay. How can I learn "how to play" rather than focus on the scenarios and problems.

To my mind, you limit and risk trivializing the answers by assuming that you are looking for another book. This also gives us the greatest chance of the question devolving into a book popularity contest - recommendation questions are banned to avoid these lists where the interesting bit is only the name of a book or game and the answer as a whole is little more than that.

Trust the community to recommend books in their answers if they feel that is appropriate, but I would expect great answers to relate personal experience either as to how they learned themselves or how they regularly teach others.

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  • Thanks for the detailed response. I think the rewrite is good approach to take. – mpdonadio Jan 16 '13 at 21:29

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