I think that this is the best introduction to the Sanskrit language available. Although expensive, it is worth the money if you really want to learn this difficult language. The large first volume contains 32 chapters, each one of which contains some grammatical information followed by one or two reading exercises in Sanskrit, a vocabulary of unknown words and plenty of useful notes to guide the student. This is the main strength of the book - almost from the outset the reading passages are continuous, not just a mix of unconnected sentences. They reinforce the grammatical material given in the chapter and at the same time provide revision of what has gone before. There is also an English into Sanskrit exercise for those who are interested. Volume 2 contains a few hundred lines of the text of the tory of Nala and Damayanti from the Mahabharata, again with notes and vocabulary. Also in this volume are the noun and verb paradigms, the rules of Sandhi and an English-Sanskrit two-way glossary. Absolutely no doubt about it - this is the best.