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Unbearable print quality on paperback
on May 23, 2014
I strongly suggest avoiding Springer's current paperback print. It is a print-on-demand text with the print quality set to "might as well be a jpeg". I'll be returning this and looking for a hardback copy.
The content of this book appears very good. I have skimmed it and here is my impression: It takes a biased approach to linear algebra, which is not a bad thing - the author's motivation to present linear algebra the way he would like to have seen it leads to a very cohesive work. The exercises force true understanding, unlike the rote understanding stressed by most introductory courses on the subject, and that is why it is regarded as a "second course" text in linear algebra. The content is quite approachable to any student versed in proofs. Likely, even, to those not: the motivation in the text and basic reasoning of the arguments are very clear and logical, and creates an understanding of the "bigger picture".
As other reviewers have mentioned, the print quality in the paperback is terrible. To stress just how bad this is: letters in ordinary roman text are wrinkled around the edges, and sometimes the ink will cut off partway through a letter. The italic text reminds me of a compressed bitmap image, and actually looks *pixelated*. I do not want to even get into the math text. Subscripts and superscripts, where they appear, are extremely light and cut off regularly, and parenthesis and other brackets are wobbly and cut off as well. This harms legibility in reading the formulas. The text hurts my eyes, and I cannot imagine actually reading the book.
The sad part is that this book is beautifully typeset, and a lot of work went into making it readable. It has margin notes providing context, clear and skimmable visual indicators of "proof", "theorem", "definition", running heads for sections. The benefits of all of this are seriously outweighed by the horrible print.