Through my work as a public librarian I recently ordered this book, and subsequently had the opportunity to be the first at my library to read it! I am very impressed with the sheer scope of the work. Having long been a fan of the Taunton Press I expected this work to be very good quality, and I was not disappointed. I agree with most of the favorable comments made by other reviewers, but I have to disagree with the claim made by another that this book is disjointed. I found it to be very readable and informative.
To me the beauty of this book is that there is something in it for everyone. Beginners will of course gather the most new knowledge here, but even seasoned woodworkers (and woodworking book junkies) will find it interesting and above all useful. Besides the grand scope of the book, I was impressed most with the fresh and creative ways that common woodworking knowledge is presented. I found that the way the chapters were laid out, the order of presentation, felt very natuaral. Each subject flows nicely into the next. I particularly liked the sections illustrating the most common forms of a particular component of woodworking. Such as, the most common methods for mounting and fitting drawers and doors, the most common edge details for shelving, the most common dimensions for various categories of furniture, etc.
If I had to sum up why this book is a great buy I would have to say it is because this book serves as both an encyclopedia of woodworking facts (usefull to all woodworkers among us) and a comprehensive collection of tips and advice (which novices will find especially helpful). I highly recommend this purchase.