(IAAC) Observing handbooks NOT in SPC catalog
[Sent by me to email@example.com today... Hope it helps! -Lew]
I've just finished perusing your SPC Catalog for 1998. I was delighted
by many of your new offerings, but had a couple of questions about some
missing old favorites... I notice that among your "Observing Handbooks",
you now no longer offer what I consider three of the four BEST observing
handbooks! Primary among these is Luginbuhl & Skiff's _Observing Hand-
book and Catalog of Deep Sky Objects_ (Cambridge University, 1992). I'd
go so far as to say that this book is INDISPENSABLE for intermediate
and more advanced deep-sky observers! I understand (from Brian Skiff)
that it is now hard to come by from Cambridge, but surely SPC could do
something to make this classic available to needy observers everywhere?
(Tellingly, I just heard from a fellow amateur in Singapore, that the
Borders Books which recently opened there carries the _OH_ for US$7!)
Also missing from your '98 catalog are two other "necessaries": Roger
Clark's _Visual Astronomy of the Deep Sky_, which I note IS still shown
on its own Web page, although it didn't make it into the catalog; and
the complete series of Webb Society observing handbooks, Vols. 1 - 8.
This latter is of course available from the Webb Society itself, but as
a non-profit amateur organization, the WS naturally lacks resources to
advertise and distribute its very useful handbooks like SPC would do.
(My fourth personal "must-have" is Burnhams, which IS in the catalog.)
I have managed to accumulate all these books, but there are many NEWLY
INSPIRED amateurs out there now, excited by the recent comets, the many
advances of the Hubble, and the interplanetary probes! These books are
not familiar to many of those amateurs, and in my opinion - for purely
practical reasons - they SHOULD be. Sky Publishing has a responsibility,
as THE source for astronomical information for thousands of amateurs,
to help disseminate to amateurs the invaluable knowledge in these books.
To coin an old adage, nothing sells astronomy books like encouraging an
intense, informed public interest in astronomy!
Thanks for your time, and clear skies!
Lew Gramer, member of ATMoB, NSAAC, and NHAS
Medford, MA, USA