Two of the main purposes behind a book such as this can be expressed in the catchphrase 'I and I'. In other words, information and inspiration. Lance Mindheim's book "8 Realistic Track Plans for Small Switching Layouts" provides plenty of both.
In brief, the eight trackplans detailed in this book are well-thought-out, practical and feasible, and offer considerable scope for having fun both in the construction and operating phases. It's been said that the first and last few hundred yards of a freight car's journey are the most interesting part, and that's what these layouts depict.
The restraint and balance shown by author Mindheim in his designs will result in a model railroad which is simpler and less expensive to build--and which can be completed in this lifetime. For instance, these plans don't incorporate much in the way of staging tracks. More staging can always be added by the modeler, of course, but the author believes that small layouts can operate perfectly well by staging cuts of cars rather than whole trains, thus saving a lot of complexity, expense and maintenance headaches.
The trackplans are all sized for a hypothetical 11-by-12-foot spare bedroom. Since I sit typing this review in a room which is a virtual clone of the space shown in the book, I suspect that many readers will be able to adapt these plans to existing rooms in their own homes.
Even these too much for your available space? There's a bonus plan entitled 'The Beginner', which would fit in the smallest studio apartment or dorm room. It looks like a blast, too.
"8 Realistic Track Plans for Small Switching Layouts" provides not only inspiration, as any good idea book should; once you're inspired, it will take you to the next step and get you started on an attainable and enjoyable model railroad project.