Whenever I pick up a new obsession, my first stop is the bookstore. Bridge was no different except notably in the number of books I’ve acquired on the subject. The first, and one of the best, was Eddie Kantar’s Bridge for Dummies. I moved on, still a dummy though, and read a number of other books as well. Apparently, writing bridge books is an occupation second only to playing bridge for many expert players; there are hundreds and hundreds of books on the subject. My collection is just the tip of the iceberg.
Recently Watson’s Play of the Hand at Bridgehad me missing Kantar and just about every other book I’d read on the subject (140 pages in I gave myself a break and have been assiduously avoiding it ever since). I carry the Watson with me and I know that without a steady partner now is the perfect time to work on my declarer play, but I just can’t bring myself to pick it up again. The impossible contracts which spring forth from my short term partnerships shall remain impossible for the time being.
Intimidated by Watson, the 335 pages I have left of his book and the foresight to know that when I do finish it I won’t have retained but a fraction of the content thus forcing me to read it over again … I’ve fled to greener pastures and this finds me reading Larry Cohen’s To Bid or Not to Bid at the moment.
One of the books highly recommended by my teacher was Dorothy Hayden Truscott’s Winning Declarer Play. I bought a copy of it relatively early on. Unfortunately, it is out-of-print and less computer savvy types have a hard time finding it. I’ve told a couple of people about used.addall.com which is my favorite source for hard to find books on any topic, including bridge. Still when collections of bridge books come up for sale on eBay the inclusion of Winning Declarer Play along with whatever other title I may be seeking is apt to push me toward buying the lot just so I have another copy to lend or give away. I sent one such copy on to a fellow bridge student and she was so pleased that she gave me lovely candle worth far more than the book, especially considering it had simply been included with a group of other books I was interested in.
I’d also give very high marks to Dan Romm’s Things Your Bridge Teacher Won’t Tell You, but whatever I might say about it couldn’t compare to the accolades implied by the fact someone actually walked off with it from the bridge club. Luckily that book isn’t out of print; I’ll have a harder time replacing the bookmark.