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Can we have a

Something entirely w/in the extant structure--e.g., allow the Review to be posted as a question. Perhaps put a word limit.

Book Reviews are good, but you can find them on Amazon, O'Reilly, et al., so why should SO have them?

First, for reviews on SO, the reader knows something about the reviewer. Second, in SO, a book review is no longer a static text--the real value will be in the discussion it generates and the approval/disapproval of the rest of the SO community.

SO is a place for programming questions, so are Reviews really in the spirit of SO?

That's what the SO manifesto says. It also says avoid questions that are "[s]ubjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion." A pretty large fraction of SO questions don't fit this description. Most of the highest-modded questions outright ignore it, e.g., "Hidden Features of JavaScript?", "What should a programmer know before building a public web site?", "What IDE to use for python?", "Best way to teach a beginner to program?", "What is the coolest thing you can do in <10 lines of simple code?"

In addition, the SO FAQ tells us it's ok to answer your own question, which obviously means that providing useful information to the community is what matters, not the particular grammatical rubric in which the information is provided. So if it helps you, think of a book review (again, programming books, is what i had in mind) as asking and answering your own question.

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marked as duplicate by fretje, Ladybug Killer, random, ChrisF, Troggy Dec 26 '09 at 22:44

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

see:… – fretje Dec 26 '09 at 15:19

Book reviews don't really fit within the scope of Stack Overflow:

What kind of questions can I ask here?

Programming questions, of course!


What kind of questions should I not ask here?

Avoid asking questions that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion. This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered!

I would suggest taking a look at and consider starting one yourself.

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A book review is primarily a one-way piece of information transfer - what would the "answers" to a book review look like? Bear in mind that SO is not a discussion forum - detailed discussion really doesn't work very well as there are only three "layers" of threads (questions, answers, comments). That's just not what Stack Overflow is designed for.

To my mind, reviews are more appropriate on blogs than on Stack Overflow.

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I think the only way a book review would fit the SO style is if the question serves as a prompt for the review, and the answers are the actual review.

The main problem here is that asking "How good was X book?" is inherently a subjective question, and would have a difficult time staying open. It would have to be interesting, highly programming-related, and have a well-stated prompt. It would certainly have to be community wiki.

Even then, I think such a question's chances are slim.

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