I would like to gently disagree/agree with the previous reviewer - this book is an exceptionally useful source for collectors at ALL levels of collecting - not only for novices although a novice should read this book before buying his/her first map! But this is truly a unique map collector's book. It breaks with the classical "map book" style and connects a huge amount of information. That has helped me a lot. I have been a collector for about ten years and I use this book the most of the several dozen I own on antique maps. Practically every question I have had on collecting is dealt with here. The author's style is refreshing and he presents otherwise difficult information very clearly. The book has lots of information, clearly presented, not found in any other map book. I now finally know about acids and what they are! I can now easily tell between lithographs and engravings and etchings just by looking at a map. The sections on paper and vellum, color, folding maps, what determines the value of a map, repairing defects and much more are all presented in the context of the collector's maps. I find the information very practical, a foreign language map dictionary, a glossary and hundreds of fine pictures of maps and details. This book increased my enjoyment of my hobby and will continue to do so. It is not dumbed down. It is refreshing to read and is actually amusing in parts. I met the author at the recent Miami map fair and told him this personally.