View Full Version : My Favourite Pool Books

08-31-2008, 06:16 PM
Like many others here, I have a fair collection of books and videos on Billiards... some that are more special than others to me. I'm just curious as to what treasures others may possess.

For me my favorite book on learning foundational shot techniques... although quite dated (original copyright in 1977) is The 99 Critical Shots in Pool by Ray Martin ans Rosser Reeves. This is a book I believe every player should own.

Many years back I had an opportunity to play Cliff Thorburn, just after he won the Canadian Snooker Championship and just before he won the World Snooker Championship. I was amongst a group of several young players given the opportunity to play an exhibition game with him. Going into the colours I was 22 points up on him but after making my last ball before the yellow I made a poor positional shot (I was very nervous) and I then missed the yellow. Cliff made short work of running out the colours and beat me by 5 points. He graciously (and unnessisarily) appologised to me. He then gave me a Dufferin cue... as I came closest to beating him and he also gave me autographed copy of his book Snooker Skills

One other special book I have came form a visit home to Chicago where George Fells was kind enough to play a few games of one pocket and 14:1 with me (but I couldn't talk him into any snooker :). He then signed a copy of his book How would You Play This? for me. A good player and a very generous man... not too bad of a writer either /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

So what are some of your treasures? ...Bob

09-01-2008, 07:51 AM
Not instructional, but my favorite pool book is running the table, by Danny Basavich. I just couldnt put it down, great book.

09-01-2008, 11:32 AM
I have many, many books. I would say the original ones that got me interested in studying pool more were the 99 Critical Shots, as you mention, and then, Robert Byrne's first instructional book.

Both of those books opened my eyes and gave me valuable tools at the table, and led me to using more instructional materials.

For sheer volume of valuable material, it is hard to beat any of Phil Capelle's books, or Bob Henning's Pro Book or Advanced Pro Book. We're talking an encyclopedic in-depth treatment of a lot of material.

09-01-2008, 01:00 PM
99 Critical shots & Byrneís Standard book are where I started to learn back in the 80ís. Later on Byrneís advanced book and Fels Pool advanced techniques for mastering the game helped me even farther as well as Koehlerís book on the science of pocket billiards. Those books will be forever burned into my mind as some of the greatest learning materials of their day but their day I think will soon pass.

With the proliferation of internet use and the rise of DVDís as instructional material by great instructors as well as You Tube and forums such as this the day of the pool book as the primary learning medium is soon to be a thing of the past. Back in the 80ís when I wanted to learn something my 1st instinct was to hit the book store, and the library today kids 1st instinct is to google.

I donít have a crystal ball but I think that the video medium is superior to that of the written word for most of us and will almost certainly be for the next generation. So I learned from books and there is so much great information in there from great writers who taught the people making the DVDís now how to play in the first place.

I look at this next generation with envy they learn so fast and donít seem to have to work nearly as hard as I did to get the same info and well they donít. Oh well I was ahead in my day because the real science of pool was almost a secret. So coming up nowadays is harder than it was back then. Good thing to because I am not naturally well ďgiftedĒ.

09-02-2008, 06:36 AM
I do not have any favorite books on pocket billiards. None are all that good for learning to play well. Byrne gives an introduction to types of shots, Jack Kohler and Dr Dave present the science. Ray Martin has some good drills. A few DVDs by people like Dr Dave, Joe Tucker and Joe Villalpando show some interesting ideas. Freddy the Beard has some interesting ideas too. But there are no authors who teach how to play well, including Bob Fancher.

I think there is a need for a good textbook on the subject but nothing is available. It seems to me that there could be a good structured, step by step approach that takes on one problem at a time. The ideas need to be set forth with an explanation of the theories, a set of exercises or drills and ending with pre and post testing so the student can determine what they have learned. Referenes to additional advanced materials would be helpful.

09-02-2008, 07:34 AM
Byrne's Complete Book of Pool Shots 350 Moves Every Player Should Know

09-02-2008, 09:36 AM
Running the Table is a great book, I think I read it in two days just couldnt stop reading the damn thing. Another great read is Playing Off The Rail.

09-02-2008, 10:05 AM
The Science of Pocket Billiards is my favorite.

I really respect the effort that went into the methodology and experiments by Koehler.

The only thing that I really disagree with is his analysis of banking, which I think overestimates the role of cushion deformation, but perhaps on his table, it was valid.

09-02-2008, 10:16 AM
Bambu, great book indeed. The book however is about Danny but was written by L. Jon Wertheim.

09-02-2008, 11:14 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Not instructional, but my favorite pool book is running the table, by Danny Basavich. I just couldnt put it down, great book. </div></div>I wonder if it's because you might know several of the people and/or places mentioned in the book.

I read more than the average bear, and I couldn't get passed the first few chapters.

OTOH, my favorite pool & billiard book is <u>Billiards: Hustlers & Heroes, Legends & Lies and the Search for Higher Truth on the Green Felt</u>; GRISSIM, JOHN.

My favorite "instructional" book(s) are the Eddie Robin one pocket books ( <u>Winning One Pocket</u> and <u>Shots, Moves, Strategies</u> )


09-02-2008, 12:43 PM
I stand corrected, thanks Zone.