The Bottom Line
The questions posed by Walters' Tables 101 pose clear and present danger to much of the pool table industry--unless manufacturers work to build a better class of table then they have in present years.
- Best details available on finding and maintaining pool tables
- Peppered with interesting pool history tidbits
- Simply written and easily comprehended
- Wanted more details on self-improvements such as tacking felt
- Conversational style of narrative sometimes wanders a bit
- Knowledge of pool tables not found elsewhere--fabulous details on pool table values
- A quick and fully entertaining read
- Worth 100 times its cover price to anyone interested in purchasing or maintaining pool tables
Guide Review - Pool Tables 101 - A Book Review
I felt reading Walters' book to be an eye-opening experience indeed, and learned many fascinating details about pool table manufacturing. I laughed a few times aloud along the way, too, as Walters pads the book with interesting anecdotes throughout.
A theme of the book emphasizes value over price. It may seem trite to underscore durable value as no reflection on initial price, but since a quality pool table can last for 80 - 100 years or more in fine playing condition, and a poor table a dozen, the difference is distinct. Walters explains exactly what qualities will keep your table honed and lustrous for many years to come, leaving a fine table as an inheritance for retirement or the kids as well.
Some of the many fine tidbits in Pool Tables 101 include choosing the best rail materials; the history and geology of pool slate, asking the right questions of manufacturers and installers, home care for a table's wood surfaces and finish, felts that will last nearly twenty years without replacement and poorer cloths needing to be discarded in a quarter of that time, etc.
A boon for the pool player overall, only slight errors of style and my desire for more detail about learning to tack felt kept it from earning five stars. Available as a download from the author's website, the book comes with a guarantee but no one interested in owning a quality pool table would return this invaluable volume.
I hope thousands of copies are sold soon, urging the pool manufacturing industry to refine its practices.