Good Books for Pool Players

greyghost

Coast to Coast
Silver Member
I lost my copy of Peter Rabbit's book. If anyone has an extra copy for sale I'm interested.

I have the paper back that was reprinted. There’s another on Amazon for a bill. But this one is 1st edt hardback with the dust jacket.

4fe06c50135628731acecaeb7377db29.png



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here is the similar list from a few years ago....

(List last updated 7 November 2018)

If you're tired of books on instruction but crave something billiard-related, you might want to check out the following.
-- Bob

Byrne, "Great Pool Stories"
Walter Tevis, "The Hustler" and "Color of Money"
Dyer, "Hustler Days"
Dyer, "The Hustler and the Champ"
Byrne, "McGoorty"
Tom Fox and Fats, "The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies"
McCumber, "Playing Off the Rail"
Grady, "Bet High, Kiss Low"
Mosconi and Cohen, "Willie's Game"
Grissim, "Billiards"
Stowers, "The Unsinkable Titanic Thompson"
Fels, "Legends of Pool"
Ricketts, "Walter Lindrum - Billiards Phenomenon"
Hoppe, "Thirty Years of Billiards"
"Brunswick: The Story of an American Company"
WW Woody, "Buddy Hall, Rags to Rifleman"
Thomas Fensch, "The Lions and the Lambs"
Joe Davis, "The Breaks Came My Way," autobiography
Ned Polsky, "Hustlers, Beats and Others"
Clive Everton, "The History of Snooker and Billiards"
Gordon Burn, "Pocket Money, Bad boys, business heads and boom time snooker"
Art Tully, "How to Hustle Your Friends at Pool"
Gerald E. Huber, "Green Felt Jungle"
Bob Henning, "Cornbread Red: Pool's Greatest Money Player"
Alex Higgins, "Alex, Through the Looking Glass"
Jon Bradshaw, "Fast Company"
Chris Rhys, "Snooker Disasters and Bizarre Records"
Mike Shamos, "The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards"
also: "Pool" and "Shooting Pool"
Stein and Rubino, "Billiard Encyclopedia"
Fred Walther, "Minnesota Fats, Never Behind the Eight Ball"
William Hendricks, "History of Billiards"
Peter Linhard, "How to Get By without Working"
Jay Helfert, "Pool Wars" and "Pool Wars 2"
Freddy Bentivegna, "The GosPool of Bank Pool", "Banking with the Beard", and "The Encyclopedia of Pool Hustlers"
L. Jon Werthiem, "Running The Table"
Danny Diliberto/Jerry Forsyth, "The Road Player"
Alf Taylor, "The Other Side of the Road"
Ronnie O'Sullivan, "Running"
Bob Campbell, "Do It for the Game", and "Just Do It For The Money"
Robert LeBlanc, "Confessions of a Pool Hustler"
Mark Cantrill, "Watchin' T-Wheels: Road Stories With The Legends of Pool"
 

Pin

Registered
You left off the best pool book of all time: Golf is not a Game of Perfect.
I read this one a few years ago and can remember almost nothing.

I'm pretty sure I didn't take anything from it that I applied in my game (and that I wasn't already doing).

This may be saying more about me, or my memory, or the number of pop-(sports) psychology books I've read.

I used to devour this kind of stuff, I guess for the promise of magic bullets and quick fixes. And I think I'm at the stage of life where I can look back on everything that didn't give me any practical value, and feel jaded.

Which is maybe unfair because I did find some magic bullets and quick fixes (and slow fixes, which is good so long as they work), but the stuff I actually still use comes from a small number of books from the many I read.

Of course, if other people get practical benefit out of the book (or others), then fair enough. Maybe I just missed it, or it wasn't the piece of the puzzle that I needed.

But I do wonder whether people read these books, take the warm happy message away, then it fades and they're left doing exactly the same things at the table (and in their psychology) as they did before.
I wonder this because it's what I've done, many times.

I don't mean to sound overly negative. In the course of searching for great insight, you should probably expect to read a lot of stuff that doesn't hit the spot. And maybe I learned things, but in more intangible ways than being able to pinpoint any single lesson.

It's just something that I think about when I spot these books on my book shelf or wherever.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
As for instructional books, here's my list,

Robert Byrne -- four books: Standard, Advanced, Wonderful World, Trick Shots
Straight Pool: Capelle, Cranfield and Moy, Mosconi
General: Martin, Alciatore, Wilson, Fels
Oldies (which are under $10 now): Cottingham, Knuchell, Lassiter, Crane, Mosconi red book, Hoppe (1942), Joe Davis, Jimmy Caras
The Rules -- pick your own set. Few of your opponents will have read any set.

I don't much care for the psychology books. but I have found The Inner Game of Tennis and The Pleasures of Small Motions useful in my own game. And that is the test for such books: do they make a difference in the way you play? I think most fail. I don't think any of the general pool books that venture into that area succeed.

The first group -- instructional -- also need to pass tests. Is what the author says on a particular point true? Is it useful? Can you use it in your current game? Will you be able to use it later? And for advanced students: What are the limitations and extensions of what the author says?
 
Last edited:

greyghost

Coast to Coast
Silver Member
$300? Thanks anyway.

Lol it ain’t mine . But tbh the paperbacks in fine shape run a hundred. So a very good condition first printing first edition hardcover….WITH THE DUST JACKET (that’s where a lot of the money is tbh)

As a book collector and it’s rarity and condition plus the jacket it’s not a deal but imop it’s not a total stick up either….

Everyone that wants SMS/WOP generally speaking cries murder at 300. Then resorts to begging someone to digitize theirs for 50$ if not free of charge…..out of their dam mind!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I read this one a few years ago and can remember almost nothing.

I'm pretty sure I didn't take anything from it that I applied in my game (and that I wasn't already doing).

This may be saying more about me, or my memory, or the number of pop-(sports) psychology books I've read.

I used to devour this kind of stuff, I guess for the promise of magic bullets and quick fixes. And I think I'm at the stage of life where I can look back on everything that didn't give me any practical value, and feel jaded.

Which is maybe unfair because I did find some magic bullets and quick fixes (and slow fixes, which is good so long as they work), but the stuff I actually still use comes from a small number of books from the many I read.

Of course, if other people get practical benefit out of the book (or others), then fair enough. Maybe I just missed it, or it wasn't the piece of the puzzle that I needed.

But I do wonder whether people read these books, take the warm happy message away, then it fades and they're left doing exactly the same things at the table (and in their psychology) as they did before.
I wonder this because it's what I've done, many times.

I don't mean to sound overly negative. In the course of searching for great insight, you should probably expect to read a lot of stuff that doesn't hit the spot. And maybe I learned things, but in more intangible ways than being able to pinpoint any single lesson.

It's just something that I think about when I spot these books on my book shelf or wherever.
Education is constant. There is no "magic bullet" for anything in life, let alone pool. One is best served gathering many resources and searching for the nuggets that make the light bulb go off. As you mentioned it's all an effort in futility if you don't work on it and put it into practice.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I read this one a few years ago and can remember almost nothing.

I'm pretty sure I didn't take anything from it that I applied in my game (and that I wasn't already doing).

This may be saying more about me, or my memory, or the number of pop-(sports) psychology books I've read.

I used to devour this kind of stuff, I guess for the promise of magic bullets and quick fixes. And I think I'm at the stage of life where I can look back on everything that didn't give me any practical value, and feel jaded.

Which is maybe unfair because I did find some magic bullets and quick fixes (and slow fixes, which is good so long as they work), but the stuff I actually still use comes from a small number of books from the many I read.

Of course, if other people get practical benefit out of the book (or others), then fair enough. Maybe I just missed it, or it wasn't the piece of the puzzle that I needed.

But I do wonder whether people read these books, take the warm happy message away, then it fades and they're left doing exactly the same things at the table (and in their psychology) as they did before.
I wonder this because it's what I've done, many times.

I don't mean to sound overly negative. In the course of searching for great insight, you should probably expect to read a lot of stuff that doesn't hit the spot. And maybe I learned things, but in more intangible ways than being able to pinpoint any single lesson.

It's just something that I think about when I spot these books on my book shelf or wherever.


A lot depends on the order you happen to read books in. A book lays out new and useful material, "Wow, this book(A) is fantastic!" Then a year or two down the road you read another author that covers much the same ground(B), "Meh, not bad but I have read it all before." If you had read the books in reverse order then you would be singing the praises of the first you read(B) and be saying (A) was OK but mostly covered ground you already knew.

Some of the first books I read on sports medicine and the mental game covered new ground or put in writing things I knew but had never seen in print. I thought they were really something! After reading some sweeping books, I am not impressed with most instructional and mental game books I read now, by their very nature they mostly plow old ground, most of these books share much the same information.

My favorite book isn't on the list and isn't going to be added to it. I was ready for it and it helped me immensely. Out of print and overpriced now.

Hu
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pin

Pin

Registered
A lot depends on the order you happen to read books in. A book lays out new and useful material, "Wow, this book(A) is fantastic!" Then a year or two down the road you read another author that covers much the same ground(B), "Meh, not bad but I have read it all before." If you had read the books in reverse order then you would be singing the praises of the first you read(B) and be saying (A) was OK but mostly covered ground you already knew.
True, there's probably some of that at work for me!
My favorite book isn't on the list and isn't going to be added to it. I was ready for it and it helped me immensely. Out of print and overpriced now.
Michael Quackson, I take it?
I'm considering investing, despite it being overpriced.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
A lot depends on the order you happen to read books in. A book lays out new and useful material, "Wow, this book(A) is fantastic!" Then a year or two down the road you read another author that covers much the same ground(B), "Meh, not bad but I have read it all before." If you had read the books in reverse order then you would be singing the praises of the first you read(B) and be saying (A) was OK but mostly covered ground you already knew.

Some of the first books I read on sports medicine and the mental game covered new ground or put in writing things I knew but had never seen in print. I thought they were really something! After reading some sweeping books, I am not impressed with most instructional and mental game books I read now, by their very nature they mostly plow old ground, most of these books share much the same information.

My favorite book isn't on the list and isn't going to be added to it. I was ready for it and it helped me immensely. Out of print and overpriced now.

Hu
I put several pages of my Zen of Pool in my second book. I would say that at least 90% of it had never been printed anywhere before. Let's just say it's a different kind of instruction then how to hold your cue, stand, stroke or any of that well covered stuff.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
True, there's probably some of that at work for me!

Michael Quackson, I take it?
I'm considering investing, despite it being overpriced.

J Michael, his book is still worth the price for a competitive pistol shooter, someone else, hard to say. I went as far down the rabbit hole as he went in his book, maybe a little beyond. It let me set a record that many a better shooter had been chasing for fifteen years in only my second season of competition. A record I am proud of because while it can be and has been matched, nobody else has shot the first perfect score and never will.

Shopping around his book can be found used for about fifty bucks last I knew although some are asking far more. I used to buy it for fifteen bucks wholesale and retail was only twenty when it was in print.

I was always sorry he didn't write more. A champion, very smart, great communication skills.

Hu
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pin

Pin

Registered
Education is constant. There is no "magic bullet" for anything in life, let alone pool. One is best served gathering many resources and searching for the nuggets that make the light bulb go off. As you mentioned it's all an effort in futility if you don't work on it and put it into practice.
Some bullets are magic-er than others though.

Actually I think there's a massive amount of truth in this (your) little post. It's very, very easy to passively read a book and let the information flow in and out again. (I'll admit I've done my share of that.)

To read a book and actively dissect and digest and deliberately incorporate it into what you do requires a very different attitude and mindset.

But, some books have the content to justify that kind of effort, and some don't. And I don't think you could realistically aggressively incorporate a large number of books into your practical actions - or only very slowly. Otherwise it'd be information overload. So there has to be some give and take too.
 

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
Silver Member
I read this one a few years ago and can remember almost nothing.

I'm pretty sure I didn't take anything from it that I applied in my game (and that I wasn't already doing).

This may be saying more about me, or my memory, or the number of pop-(sports) psychology books I've read.

I used to devour this kind of stuff, I guess for the promise of magic bullets and quick fixes. And I think I'm at the stage of life where I can look back on everything that didn't give me any practical value, and feel jaded.

Which is maybe unfair because I did find some magic bullets and quick fixes (and slow fixes, which is good so long as they work), but the stuff I actually still use comes from a small number of books from the many I read.

Of course, if other people get practical benefit out of the book (or others), then fair enough. Maybe I just missed it, or it wasn't the piece of the puzzle that I needed.

But I do wonder whether people read these books, take the warm happy message away, then it fades and they're left doing exactly the same things at the table (and in their psychology) as they did before.
I wonder this because it's what I've done, many times.

I don't mean to sound overly negative. In the course of searching for great insight, you should probably expect to read a lot of stuff that doesn't hit the spot. And maybe I learned things, but in more intangible ways than being able to pinpoint any single lesson.

It's just something that I think about when I spot these books on my book shelf or wherever.

The thing is, there's a difference between wishy washy positive thinking type books, those that are meant to inspire you or beef up your confidence despite skills and talents, and books that actually contain real scientic data on how the mind functions when it comes to learning and developing skills and talents. I find the later to be much more effective when it comes to applying the information and making real changes in your life.
 
Last edited:

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
Silver Member
A lot depends on the order you happen to read books in. A book lays out new and useful material, "Wow, this book(A) is fantastic!" Then a year or two down the road you read another author that covers much the same ground(B), "Meh, not bad but I have read it all before." If you had read the books in reverse order then you would be singing the praises of the first you read(B) and be saying (A) was OK but mostly covered ground you already knew.

Some of the first books I read on sports medicine and the mental game covered new ground or put in writing things I knew but had never seen in print. I thought they were really something! After reading some sweeping books, I am not impressed with most instructional and mental game books I read now, by their very nature they mostly plow old ground, most of these books share much the same information.

My favorite book isn't on the list and isn't going to be added to it. I was ready for it and it helped me immensely. Out of print and overpriced now.

Hu

I agree that many books of this sort simply rehash what has already been published. Anyway, what is your favorite book? (The one that is out of print and overpriced now.)

I should add that some of the older books that I thought were great when I first read them have been replaced with books that are more up to date when it comes to how our mind and body works. That doesn't mean those older books are useless, only that some of the material has been debunked or proven to be inaccurate.

Over the last several years I've probably read or listened to more than 3 dozen books on memory, habits, talent, creativity, sports psychology, peak performance, genetics, biochemistry, and so on... Drawing from this wealth of material is where I've come up with a list of books that I believe would be most beneficial for pool players in one aspect or another.

So I'm not just passing along my favorite books. I've actually done a lot of research for the purpose of finding the most up to date and relevant information when it comes to learning, developing, and performing skills and talents. And some of the info happens to be from a couple of classics.

I may even have your favorite book.😉
 
Last edited:

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
Silver Member
Here is the similar list from a few years ago....

(List last updated 7 November 2018)

If you're tired of books on instruction but crave something billiard-related, you might want to check out the following.
-- Bob

Byrne, "Great Pool Stories"
Walter Tevis, "The Hustler" and "Color of Money"
Dyer, "Hustler Days"
Dyer, "The Hustler and the Champ"
Byrne, "McGoorty"
Tom Fox and Fats, "The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies"
McCumber, "Playing Off the Rail"
Grady, "Bet High, Kiss Low"
Mosconi and Cohen, "Willie's Game"
Grissim, "Billiards"
Stowers, "The Unsinkable Titanic Thompson"
Fels, "Legends of Pool"
Ricketts, "Walter Lindrum - Billiards Phenomenon"
Hoppe, "Thirty Years of Billiards"
"Brunswick: The Story of an American Company"
WW Woody, "Buddy Hall, Rags to Rifleman"
Thomas Fensch, "The Lions and the Lambs"
Joe Davis, "The Breaks Came My Way," autobiography
Ned Polsky, "Hustlers, Beats and Others"
Clive Everton, "The History of Snooker and Billiards"
Gordon Burn, "Pocket Money, Bad boys, business heads and boom time snooker"
Art Tully, "How to Hustle Your Friends at Pool"
Gerald E. Huber, "Green Felt Jungle"
Bob Henning, "Cornbread Red: Pool's Greatest Money Player"
Alex Higgins, "Alex, Through the Looking Glass"
Jon Bradshaw, "Fast Company"
Chris Rhys, "Snooker Disasters and Bizarre Records"
Mike Shamos, "The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards"
also: "Pool" and "Shooting Pool"
Stein and Rubino, "Billiard Encyclopedia"
Fred Walther, "Minnesota Fats, Never Behind the Eight Ball"
William Hendricks, "History of Billiards"
Peter Linhard, "How to Get By without Working"
Jay Helfert, "Pool Wars" and "Pool Wars 2"
Freddy Bentivegna, "The GosPool of Bank Pool", "Banking with the Beard", and "The Encyclopedia of Pool Hustlers"
L. Jon Werthiem, "Running The Table"
Danny Diliberto/Jerry Forsyth, "The Road Player"
Alf Taylor, "The Other Side of the Road"
Ronnie O'Sullivan, "Running"
Bob Campbell, "Do It for the Game", and "Just Do It For The Money"
Robert LeBlanc, "Confessions of a Pool Hustler"
Mark Cantrill, "Watchin' T-Wheels: Road Stories With The Legends of Pool"

I've read 31 of these! I'd like to find a few others on the list and add them to my library.
 

BC21

https://www.playpoolbetter.com
Silver Member
The poem "If," by Rudyard Kipling.

It's a good lesson on becoming a good man. Not sure how much of it resonates with pool players. I mean, Joe Rogan said it best when he was doing his Earl the Pearl impression. He said...

"Pool is beautiful game played by ugly people."

I'm not saying I agree with this, because I've met quite a bit more awesome people than I have "ugly" or seedy people when it comes to playing pool. But it's still a funny line. Joe Rogan is a funny dude, and smart too.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I agree that many books of this sort simply rehash what has already been published. Anyway, what is your favorite book? (The one that is out of print and overpriced now.)

I should add that some of the older books that I thought were great when I first read them have been replaced with books that are more up to date when it comes to how our mind and body works. That doesn't mean those older books are useless, only that some of the material has been debunked or proven to be inaccurate.

Over the last several years I've probably read or listened to more than 3 dozen books on memory, habits, talent, creativity, sports psychology, peak performance, genetics, biochemistry, and so on... Drawing from this wealth of material is where I've come up with a list of books that I believe would be most beneficial for pool players in one aspect or another.

So I'm not just passing along my favorite books. I've actually done a lot of research for the purpose of finding the most up to date and relevant information when it comes to learning, developing, and performing skills and talents.

I may even have your favorite book.😉



Shooting from Within By J Michael Plaxco.

Plaxco was a very successful pistol competitor. He was also able to break down what he did and why. Finally, he understood the zone as I did and had a lot to say about it compared to most. He had broken the zone down into three levels and detailed how to get to the first two. The first was where we normally operated so obviously no big deal. The second was narrow focus. The third was an an expanded focus which seems unrealistic to many that haven't been there. He detailed how to try to get to the third level but said nobody was always successful doing that. Reading about Simone Biles and her troubles performing made me wonder if perhaps gymnasts usually perform in that third level zone. As a side comment, I always entered the third level zone driving a circle track car. After decades of interest in the zone I do believe I know how to get there the vast majority of the time.

People can mean different things when they say "the zone". I was very interested in a book by a competitor who was also a MD and titled his book "Finding the Zone" or something similar. After reading the entire book I had to conclude he had never been in the level three zone and didn't even recognize that it existed.

You can search old posts and archives and probably dig up many threads with me discussing the zone. Many dismiss it as something mystical or supernatural, it isn't. It is real and something most of us can access, possibly all of us. Got to pay your dues though! I am interested in any book that is about finding that zone that J Michael calls the level three zone. Until then, Shooting from Within has more about it than any book I know of. Besides the section on the mental game he drops tidbits all through the book. Would be tough digging for someone who wasn't interested in shooting a pistol.

Hu
 
Top