Since in Are book recommendations on-topic? there is a sentiment that at least some book recommendation questions are off-topic, would it be helpful if book lists can be added to the tag wiki?

(maybe sponsored adds too!)

(There are even ideas to put a book voting system too! See https://stackoverflow.com/q/5098367/377657)

(Edited July 30th)

@ChrisF's answer inspires me an alternative implementation: Searching for + should give me a list of posts of book recommendations for scrum, right? We just need to add a convenience link on the tag wiki to do this search.

(Edited July 30th) Related FAQ issue. Quoted from Are book recommendations on-topic? :

If not, do we need to add a new line under What about other programming-related questions? to make it explicitly clear they're not allowed? Something like:

  • Book recommendations (e.g. What's the best book to learn Python?)

We can simply say

If you are looking for book recommendations, try search your favorite topic together with the tag.

Keep in mind that there are too many books in the world, and some companies (including our affiliate sponsors) already did a very good job listing them. Their recommendation system and reader reviews works really well.

  • I like this idea.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 1:50
  • The reason I keep this discussion open (after edit) is because: If we add this advice to FAQ, and then delete all the books questions, the combo tag search will always return zero result! (So, there is still a need for a few "book recommendation posts", preferably protected).
    – rwong
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 18:12
  • Does Amazon have an affiliate program for building "community book lists"? That is, community members can write reviews and vote, Amazon may choose to incorporate the community statistics but not required to, but the results shown to the community visitors is primarily generated within the community.
    – rwong
    Commented Jul 31, 2011 at 22:40

2 Answers 2


There are two different suggestions here, and they should probably be discussed separately, but I'll try to address both:

Adding book recommendations to the tag wiki for certain tags

I like this idea. If you look at the tag wiki for , for example, it'd be really helpful to get a list of the books everyone recommends for learning it. This is similar to how Stack Overflow does it, and it'd be great if we did the same. I think being able to link to the tag wiki when closing book recommendation questions would go a long way to cleaning up the tag and cutting down on the amount of duplication we have.

Adding a note in the FAQ on how to find book recommendation questions

This I cannot support. Currently, book recommendations are generally on the "off" side of topicality based the guidance listed in my question. ChrisF's answer to that question is a potentially good way to qualify that guidance, but it does not mean we should be getting so many book recommendation questions where we actively want people to keep asking them.

That is, if a question is capable of producing the canonical book for a topic, there is no need for another question asking for book recommendations about the subject, and any subsequent question asking for the same information should be closed as a duplicate of the earlier one. So in the case of , there should only be one book recommendation question. That question can and should be linked in 's tag wiki.

Beyond that, the FAQ is a general overview of the guidelines for the site: what's on topic, site etiquette, why certain things work the way they do, and where to find more help. It's not a roadmap for finding specific types of content, and search tips don't belong there. It might be worth proposing a meta FAQ question about it, but search tips are already pretty well explained on Search Options page (which is also linked to from the FAQ).

  • I like the first suggestion. I might have fun when I get home.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 12:47

I'm not sure I follow what you mean by adding "book lists" to the "tag wiki".

However, if you mean adding links to the "books" tag information page:


then you can always suggest the edit yourself.

  • My idea is to put "topical" book lists into the "tag wiki" of each popular tag. FOr example, a book list for "scrum" can be added to the tag wiki of the scrum. This book list can contain book recommendations that are non-specific or at introductory level. Specific and expert-level book recommendations will still be allowed as individual questions.
    – rwong
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 17:00
  • Sorry, I actually mean "specialized" where I said "specific".
    – rwong
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 17:06

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