This past week I spent some time at a local bookstore reading through some books. When I went there I realized that I had not yet seen what kind of Windows Vista books had been made available to get people acquainted with the new operating system. Of course, there were shelves of books available to teach beginners the ropes…but some of them were quite disappointing.

First off, I like checking out these books because from time to time I’ll have people ask what’s a good way to learn how to use an operating system. While many of us can just jump right in and start learning as we go, there are many people who still need to be walked through how to do things. So in those cases I want to point them to a good book.

One book by a publisher called Visual (quite ironicly as you’ll see) was called Microsoft Windows Vista Simplified. There were indeed a lot of pictures, but I noticed something wrong with nearly 90% of the screenshots. To show you some of what I was looking at I went to Amazon who happens to offer the Search Inside feature on this particular book so that I can see random pages. Take a look at one of the images from the book:

Vista Tips

Anything catch your attention there? The image might be a little small so you may not have noticed it right away, but the theme being used is the old one (called Scrap Metal) that was only available in early pre-release versions of Vista. It was then replaced with the blue-colored one back in July 2006:

Vista Basic

I continued to flip through many other books by the same publisher, Visual, just to find that most of them had used the Scrap Metal theme in their screenshots. However, one book called Maran Illustrated Windows Vista not only had Aero Glass enabled in their screenshots, but their tutorials are laid out a lot better. I noticed that the book also had a bonus chapter available online as a PDF that you can download here. That little bonus edition should give you a great preview with what to expect from the book itself.

I’m in no way getting paid to promote any of the books mentioned in this article (not even any referral links), and it is purely my opinion on which book is better. I looked through several different books while at the bookstore and the Maran one came out on top by a mile…for both content and appearance. Most people I know who are buying a new PC will receive it with Vista and Aero enabled, and that is what I would want them to see in a book. So Maran will be the book I’ll recommend to everyone.

For more information on Windows Vista please read our review or checkout our tips.