Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
A practical and useful book for the binocular stargazer
on February 15, 2013
I have both the Kindle and paperback editions of this book, and I give it credit for being the only Kindle book I could find on binocular stargazing! There is a lot of interesting "backstory" information on binocular design and evolution, how our eyes work for stargazing, and practical tips for working with binoculars. Makes for interesting reading, and includes stuff I've not seen in other astronomy books. The charts and graphics are easier to read in the paperback version, and I appreciated having all the binocular targets listed by season and constellation. Makes preparing an evening's "hit list" much easier.
The star charts are in circular frames, rather than rectangles, which I've not seen before and rather like. You don't "see" rectangles with binoculars, you "see" things in a circular frame, after all. The angular diameter of the circular frame is several times wider than a binocular field of view, to cover an entire constellation, for instance, but it still gives the feeling of looking through binoculars, rather than a "start chart."
The only "cons" I would list are the production values of the book. It's not as slick as some of the other books on this topic, which is too bad, because the graphics themselves are very informative. Their reproduction in the book does not do them justice -- some of them look like they were Xeroxed rather than being printed. This book has no color other than grey, and the printing of the graphics is uneven -- if you've ever made a Xerox copy of something very dark, you'll recognize the uneven banding of these prints. The graphics are still useful, but the do not support the excellent writing as well as they should. A book with this much experience in it should have graphics that celebrate the author's words more fully.
This is a book I will be using over and over, and I think it's a good addition to anyone's astronomy library.