DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
May 27 2008

Who You Callin’ a Dummy?

by David T

Dummies About 20 years ago, a frustrated bookstore customer was looking for a basic, easy-to-read, straightforward handbook to the DOS computer operating system. Most of the books he found were too dry, dense, time-consuming to read, or cluttered with unnecessary detail. If only, he declared, someone would do a book called DOS for Dummies! Thus was a publishing phenomenon born.

Nowadays, the Dummies books, published by John Wiley, are so well-known to consumers, with their familiar yellow, black, and white covers, that library patrons often ask for them by name. No longer does this series consist solely of computer manuals. You can find Dummies volumes in our catalog that will help you with plumbing, protecting your pension, postpartum depression, speaking Portuguese — and those are just the P’s! Other publishers have jumped on the bandwagon with series like the Complete Idiot’s Guides.

So next time you want a beginner’s guide to a topic, don’t be insulted if your librarian says, “Would you like a Dummies book?”

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