I read a good part of this book while flying from Athens to Vienna and I have mixed feeling about it. The book itself, as a publication that is, is way below present-day acceptable standards with b&w low resolution (bearly distinguisable) photos of coins on a dark-brown recyclable paper. Altough the content is always more important than the cover, the overall quality bothered me a lot. Content-wise the situation is much better. Altough I am not really interested in US coin varieties, presenting mint errors, how they were made or how much they cost, what to consider etc is helpful for every collector and I did learn a couple of new things. What I especially enjoyed was the coin grading guide which was quite thorough and extended to many pages. This was quite rewarding as it was one of the most important reasons I purchased the book in the first place. I also liked the information about the coin market, which -although commonsensical in large part- made an interesting reading and helped me in a couple of investing decisions. to conclude, I did gain knowledge from this book, but apart from the grading stuff it was more of a light reading than a source of great information. Since it costs only a few dollars, I would recommend it to beginners but certainly not to experienced collectors.
If you have ever had a coin in your pocket you need to have this book in your library. Scott A. Travers is an amazing writer who carefully and thoughtfully explains everything you need to know about coin collecting.
As a complete beginner, I found this an interesting book to read. It seems to cover both the finance side of coin collecting along with the hobby aspect, something I appreciated while reading it. I recommend it.