Books About WordPress (3.0)

Why books about WordPress? There is so much free stuff online about WordPress: the Codex, for example.

An advantage for online is that much of the material there is kept up to date. Books, in contrast, may suffer from bibliolescence: a term I coined to describe a book’s contents becoming obsolete. This risk is particularly acute for books about things that change rapidly or frequently, as WordPress does.

And yet, there’s something about a book: you can read it without having to boot anything up, you can flip through it, etc.

If you’re thinking about getting a book about WordPress, but are concerned about it becoming stale, now is as good a time as any to get one. WordPress 3.0 has just been released, so another major (i.e. deserving of a .0 version number) release is probably a while away.

So how many books are out now, or soon, covering WordPress 3.0? Searching Amazon shows that there are few.

One of them is the forthcoming edition of WordPress For Dummies. As author Lisa Sabin-Wilson posted recently, the 3rd edition, which includes WP 3.0, will soon be shipping. As I wrote in a previous post, the 2nd edition covers a fair amount of ground, despite its title and gentle pace. So I’m inclined to recommend the 3rd edition to those starting from scratch, or don’t mind a book that starts from scratch.

I’d be interested in news and previews and reviews of other WordPress books including the new features that came with 3.0…

A Couple of Good Reads

It’s interesting to keep track of what one reads, and to see what others are reading and what they think of those books. Yes, I said books, thus consigning this post and its author to the dustbin of pre-postliterate history.

I’ve used a few different what-am-I-reading web services, and have settled on Goodreads. My profile/history shows mainly fiction. It excludes much of the nonfiction I pick up, because I refer to it rather than read it. It also excludes most of the books I read to my kids (6 and 3) because they are my kids’ “reading” rather than mine.

I have recently made a couple of exceptions to this policy. One is for Stink and the World’s Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers. As those of you versed in the classics will know, Stink is the younger brother of Judy Moody.

In Stinky Sneakers, we find out that Stink is a discriminating sniffer as well as a smelly-sneakered source of scent. We also find out how he got the nickname Stink. This is not a book for the faint of heart or nose, but it is my favorite of the half-dozen or so Megan McDonald books we’ve read.

The other exceptional book is WordPress For Dummies. I admit that it’s not the first For Dummies book I’ve read, or considered good. Then again, I didn’t really read it.

As usual with tech books, I scanned it rather than read it, I was aware of the danger that it might already be out of date, and I know that a lot of the information is available online anyway. But if you want a book on WordPress, this one is pretty good. It sets a fairly gentle pace. At the same time, it covers a lot of ground: for example, there are chapters on setting up WordPress MU (multi-user).

I see that a new edition of WordPress For Dummies is due out later this year. I presume that’ll cover WordPress 3.0, which is due out soon.