safari (was Re: Writing solid code book)

Alex Martelli aleax at
Thu Sep 4 10:03:22 CEST 2003

Jules Dubois wrote:

> On 03 Sep 2003 13:58:00 +0100, John J. Lee wrote:
>> The Python Cookbook is the first book I'd have on my list if I were
>> learning Python now (O'Reilly, eds. Martelli & Ascher).
> That's the only Python book you think worth having?  Or buying?

Speaking as both the co-editor of the Cookbook and the author of the
Nutshell, if I had to choose ONE Python book "worth having or buying"
I think I'd go for the Nutshell.  Hard decision, though.

Fortunately you don't have to choose "sight unseen".  You can join
O'Reilly's "Safari" online-books service: it's for-pay, but you DO
get a couple of weeks free access, giving you time to examine all
of the 15 Python books they have available for online reading -- on
the basis of how you like what you see, you may then decide to
purchase any one of them -- or even, if you don't like any of them
well enough, to purchase none of them and go with the other ones
you can access in entirely free ways off the net.

In the past, I made my choices about what books to purchase mostly
by browsing books at a bookstore.  Half an hour per book might
mean a full day's worth of browsing to choose among 15 of them,
and yet not give me a solid enough basis for choosing.  Now I can
spend 2 or 3 hours examining each book's contents in a more
convenient setting, and in a weekend plus a couple evenings make
my choice on a much more solid basis.  Even ignoring safari's many
other advantages, just as a book-choosing device it's superb!-)


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