Further to these comments ...

... would it be appropriate or possible for this site to have a list of books?

I'm thinking of the following format:

  • A question asking for books
  • Many answers, one answer per book: which give the title and author, and a summary of the books contents.

The whole topic could be "community wiki".

People could leave comments to comment on a book, or edit or add to the summary in the answer; and maybe up-vote if they too recommend a book.

We did something a bit similar here:

If the answer is "no" then how else could we address the comments quoted above?

Update – the topic is started, see List of book recommendations

3 Answers 3


In general, it sounds like a good idea. I'm worried about practicalities though. Like you said, posting one book per answer may make too many answers. Multi-book answers will probably look messy and upvoting them won't be as useful. Perhaps, one book per answer is not as bad is it sounds. I remember a similar question on Stack Overflow proper, and it ended up having hundreds of books but still managed to remain useful.

  • Or maybe not -- I found that we have some already, for example with this search I found this topic: Introductory books to Buddhism. Is there room for another topic, or would that just be a duplicate? E.g. if we already have a topic for any "introductory" books, we could another for any books on any more specific aspect/topics (every topic other than "a good introduction to Buddhism").
    – ChrisW Mod
    Apr 3, 2018 at 14:15
  • I hesitate because it (not having a clearly-defined question) contradicts existing policies, about "polling" and "preaching" and "seeded questions" -- making it "community wiki" tries to say "yes but this question is different", even so ... my primary motive was to benefit people looking for introductory books, and perhaps that's already done.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Apr 3, 2018 at 14:18

It might become a long long list -- too long. Some people can recommend 50 books and more. Upvoting might help (to find popular books).


  • Create some classification (subsections) for different types of book or topic (e.g. introductory books for beginners, meditation, etc.):

    • Different answers for different kinds of book, with several books per answer -- for example, one answer for "Introducing the suttas", with several books in that answer
    • Different topics (different questions) for different types, each with one book per answer) -- for example, one topic for "Introducing the suttas", with several books in that answer
  • Recommend authors, instead of books (some authors have many books); i.e. have one answer per author, and describe/summarise the author's books.

  • Sankha's comment here suggests that the topic could be good collections (lists) of books -- perhaps a separate answer for each collection.


If I can suggest as a non-expert... it might be "cleaner" if instead of a question/answer format you instead use something like the format for "Tags" or "Users" (little boxes with possibly the cover of the book if available, or just the white square.

Where the book is the “user” the words beneath it are the shortcut words like categories. For example, where currently in the users, beneath ChrisW it says: moderation, specific-question, allowed-questions for a book it might be Advanced Practice; daily living advice; AAA tradition; English; French; German (language tags to indicate the translations available) ; pdf free (to indicate that there is a pdf available at no cost online)

Perhaps a numbering system similar to badges to indicate how many people left reviews and the numbering system similar to reputation points to indicate how many people “liked” or “upvoted” the book.

When you expand the book you would then see a summary of the content. & the reviews.

thank you for your efforts... the pebbles you throw in the pond make lovely ripples.

  • Thank you. To do that, someone would have to do it on a web site other than stack exchange -- that kind of page layout can't be controlled/created via the stack exchange user interface.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Apr 11, 2018 at 15:38
  • @ChrisW thank you for considering... this exchange is an apt illustration of the difference between a science fiction writer and an actual scientist ;) ... I dream! but in the end, you bring me the (necessary) limits of reality. thank you for your expertise.
    – Mishtook
    Apr 11, 2018 at 16:12

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