I read this book back in 1991 before my first visit to Borobudur and found it a great introduction to the site for sure, but also to Indonesian history and Buddhism. February 2009 I returned to Borobudur for my third visit and despite being older and much more knowledgeable about Javanese history and culture, not to mention Buddhist texts and iconography, decided to re-read Borobudur. Only now, eighteen years later, can I really appreciate what a remarkably fine volume this is. The micro-focus is Borobudur, but the book additionally has chapters on all the most relevant elements of Javanese history and culture that put the story of Borobudur into focus. For example, because the decorative panels include carvings of the previous lives of the Buddha and other "heroic deeds", the most important Jataka tales and Avadanas are included. There are chapters on Borobudur as a mountain, as a stupa, as a mandala; there are chapters on Buddhism in Java, Buddhist architecture, how Borobudur must have been built, and how it was found and reclaimed. I have quite a few books on Borobudur, but in the hindsight of several visits to the site and years of study, I now realize this is simply the best book ever written on the single largest Buddhist monument in the world. Whether you visit Borobudur in person or are an armchair traveler, this is the guidebook you need.