Good Books for Pool Players

BC21

Poolology
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Silver Member
This thread is for players that enjoy a good book on occassion. There are so many great books out there that can improve your game, and choosing just a few was quite a challenge. I've added a few more since snagging these screenshots: "The Flight of the Cue Ball", by Robin Kelly, "Byrne's Standard Book of Pool and Billiards", and Dr. Dave's "Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards".

Anyhow, these are screenshots from an unedited book I'm working on, but hopefully the image quaility is good enough to read. You might find something you'll like. And if you have a favorite book that isn't on my list, please suggest it.

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jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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You left out one very important book, the best selling golf book of all time, Harvey Penick's "Little Red Book." It's a must read for any aspiring athelte, right up there with the Inner Game of Tennis imo.
 

BC21

Poolology
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Thank you! Yes, I overlooked it. I even have the book, probably a couple of copies. Lol. It's been a while since I read it, but you're right....it needs listed.

Another great list would include books that contain pool stories, fiction and nonfiction. But that's for a different project.
 

BC21

Poolology
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99 Critical shots, Ray Martin.

Not on my list. It's a good book, but there are a lot of bad/inaccurate diagrams that don't match the shot instructions. I'll put it this way... I have a few dozen books that can be helpful for pool players, and when attempting to list a top 10 with another 10 or so earning a mention, some books just didn't make the cut. It doesn't mean I don't think they are good books. It just means, in my opinion, they aren't as good as some of the others.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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Not on my list. It's a good book, but there are a lot of bad/inaccurate diagrams that don't match the shot instructions. I'll put it this way... I have a few dozen books that can be helpful for pool players, and when attempting to list a top 10 with another 10 or so earning a mention, some books just didn't make the cut. It doesn't mean I don't think they are good books. It just means, in my opinion, they aren't as good as some of the others.
Agreed. Rabbit's book was far funnier than it was instructional. What a character he was. I feel so fortunate to have been around at a time when Pool was full of guys like him. It got boring the last 20 or 30 years without them. In the old days a successful player had to be a one man road show to encourage people to gamble with him. If you didn't have a personality you got no action!
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You left off the best pool book of all time: Golf is not a Game of Perfect.
Beat me to it. This book shows ways/tips/technique that help you get of your own way. Top players don't beat themselves up over bad play. Hey, shit happens so don't over-react to bad stimulus.
 

BC21

Poolology
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You left off the best pool book of all time: Golf is not a Game of Perfect.

I almost listed it! It was a toss up between that and "Be the Ball" by Charlie Jones and Kim Doren. But since I had Rotella's other book, "How Champions Think", already on the list, I chose not to include either book.
 

BC21

Poolology
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Silver Member
Beat me to it. This book shows ways/tips/technique that help you get of your own way. Top players don't beat themselves up over bad play. Hey, shit happens so don't over-react to bad stimulus.

Yes, "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect" is a great book. But Rotella's other book, "How Champions Think" contains the same lessons/tips, plus more. So I put it on the list instead.
 

greyghost

Coast to Coast
Silver Member
Agreed. Rabbit's book was far funnier than it was instructional. What a character he was. I feel so fortunate to have been around at a time when Pool was full of guys like him. It got boring the last 20 or 30 years without them. In the old days a successful player had to be a one man road show to encourage people to gamble with him. If you didn't have a personality you got no action!

Imop for a self published author with only a pool hall doctorate. He was able to write a memoir of his life reminiscent of new comedies by the Greek poets. The society and social morality of the pool hall and his life in it. attractively and colorfully laying out his story while making no attempt to criticize or improve it in his favor. Introduces the story with don’t try this at home to the reader. Love loss struggle lots of effort to not put in effort….and when we arrive just shy of a hundred pages at the end that he was fond of the beautiful mess that was his life.

It was quaint and keeps your attention in less time than a race to 3 in one pocket . For its very short stature I put it right next to McGoorty and Hustler Days…and ahead of playing off the rail. Hefty little pamphlet of a book.

Of all the top notch collectible pool books wether instructional like Eddie robins series on one hole or biographical in nature like willies game among many others, I don’t rank it as the best literary work and it surely isn’t the most valuable but it is my favorite as a collectible work.

It’s a dog gone pool hustler comic book with no pictures and I hope he got his wings when he left this world.


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measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Best tip i ever got was "Don't let your pursuit of a golf score get in your way of having a good time". Applies to any game imo.
Years ago when I was an avid bad golfer I shot a 38 on the front 9 and thought while making the turn is this the day when i break 80?
I completely fell apart on the back 9 and wound up with my usual over 90 score.
I was so mad at myself and mentally distraught that I realized my pursuit of a good score ruined the enjoyment the game should have given me.
I stopped keeping score after that and began to enjoy the game again.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Years ago when I was an avid bad golfer I shot a 38 on the front 9 and thought while making the turn is this the day when i break 80?
I completely fell apart on the back 9 and wound up with my usual over 90 score.
I was so mad at myself and mentally distraught that I realized my pursuit of a good score ruined the enjoyment the game should have given me.
I stopped keeping score after that and began to enjoy the game again.
Good scores just happen, can't force 'em. Sam Snead called it 'concentrated indifference' or something like that.
 
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