Sunday, February 7, 2010

VFTD: Book Review

A first--and probably a last given shrinking attention spans and literacy rates--which kinda of begs the question; who is this book for?

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The book is 'A Parent's Guide to Paintball,' by Steve Davidson. The book is for parents, d'oh, (of would be young players) but it is also a source of comprehensive general information about most every aspect of the game. As such it's also an excellent resource for anyone interested in getting their paintball knowledge on. Distributed by KEE there is a dedicated website and it's also available through Amazon. And a routine Google search for "paintball books" puts 'A Parents Guide..' at or near the top of the list.

Davidson, considered by some a polarizing figure in the early history of the game, has been involved in paintball for 25 years and knows his stuff. Beside being eminently qualified he writes in a clean, easy-to-read style that communicates the simple to the complex in an understandable and (even) entertaining manner. The book includes a number of useful appendices and while some of the info is out-of-date, given the way the industry & media in particular are changing, it's neither s huge surprise nor a fault of any real consequence. There's also a solid glossary of paintball specific terms. The only aspects of the book some might object to are the price and the advertisements. The Amazon price is $15.95 and the majority of the ads are full page black & white ads for mostly KEE distributed product lines. (Compared to buying 3 paintball magazines you get a lot more specific and useful info and a lot fewer ads.) Overall the book is a straightforward and honest introduction to the game of paintball that also conveys a sense of the fun and excitement playing paintball offers.

If KEE (for example) wanted to make a long term contribution to "growing the sport" they could do worse than making a commitment to putting a copy of this guide in as many local libraries as possible around the country. Just saying. And if you know somebody who wants to know more about paintball 'A Parents Guide ..' fits the bill.


Crotchety Old Fan said...

Thanks for the review Baca! I'd say thanks regardless of your opinion, but considering your recommendation, I HAPPILY say thanks.

RE the advertising: The original concept of the publication was to have approximately one ad per chapter, from a variety of companies - which would have been used to offset some of the production cost and probably would have resulted in a lower cover price. As it is, Kee Action Sports were the only ones to step up to the bar and take an ad (an ad that will be relevant for far longer than a couple of months). Kee also decided that they wanted to distribute the book within paintball, for which I am grateful.
Last but not least: samples of each chapter are available free at the website you linked to - and of course more of my writing (and wit?) can be found (also for free) at the Big Bullet -

(The cover price is not out of line for a trade paperback these days.)

Baca Loco said...

No problem, COF. I didn't mean to imply I had a problem with either the price or the ads. The comparo I offered was intended to put both in perspective--those were the only two things I thought anyone could conceivably take exception to.