I have a lot of chess books, mostly used that I got for free or dirt cheap. I am not looking for recommendations on books to buy, but more on which books I should read in order if I preset a list and if someone has read the book on here, even better. Can we ask those types of questions?

1 Answer 1


I'd see nothing wrong with a question about a specific book, but compiling a list out of the particular books you own sounds a bit too localized to me. Now, you could ask "what kind of chess book in general should I be reading first, and what kind should I be saving for later?" That way, not only can you can glean some pointers for your own library, but the question becomes more valuable to other users.

  • I see what you are saying, but I think one time someone asked a question on books and it was immediately closed because it was mentioned that stackexchange is not a recommendation engine. I probably will ask the type of questions you asked in your post though.
    – xaisoft
    Dec 20, 2012 at 20:07
  • I don't think asking for reading recommendations is necessarily a deprecated topic here. The user may not have clearly stated his mind or may have been mistaken in his disapproval of the question you refer to. I'm not familiar with that thread, though, so I can't look up the details. If your recommendation question is well-formed and clearly defined, you should still be on-topic. See this well-received recommendation question by Ed Dean. More pertinently, see this question regarding a specific book.
    – Daniel
    Dec 20, 2012 at 20:14
  • Ok, I see what you are saying. The second question link is mine lol :)
    – xaisoft
    Dec 20, 2012 at 20:18
  • Ha, didn't notice! :)
    – Daniel
    Dec 20, 2012 at 20:22
  • 1
    Just wanted to add one thought to this - if you want a few books to be used as a specific curriculum for learning a specific skill, I think that's alright too. But in general, product recommendations are frowned upon. See Good Subjective, Bad Subjective for more details.
    – Andrew Mod
    Dec 20, 2012 at 20:34
  • Yes, there are certainly questions asking for recommendations that are far too open-ended. But in general, if you are careful to narrow the field of interest and criteria as far as possible, your question (and its answer) is much more helpful to all concerned.
    – Daniel
    Dec 20, 2012 at 20:39

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