For Dummies

For Dummies is an extensive series of instructional / reference books which are intended to present non-intimidating guides for readers new to the various topics covered. Despite the title, their publisher has taken great pains to emphasize that the For Dummies books are not literally for dummies. The subtitle for every book is, “A Reference for the Rest of Us!”. To date, over 1,600 For Dummies titles have been published.[1] The series has been a worldwide success with editions in numerous other languages.

The books are an example of a media franchise, consistently sporting a distinctive cover—usually yellow and black with a triangular-headed cartoon figure known as the “Dummies Man”, and an informal, blackboard-style logo. Prose is simple and direct; bold icons, such as a piece of string tied around an index finger, are placed in the margin to indicate particularly important passages.

Almost all Dummies books are organized around sections called “parts”, which are groups of related chapters. Parts are almost always preceded by a Rich Tennant comic that refers to some part of the subject under discussion. Sometimes the same Tennant drawing reappears in another Dummies book with a new caption.

Another constant in the Dummies series is “The Part of Tens”, a section at the end of the book where lists of ten items are published. They are usually resources for further study and sometimes also include amusing bits of information that don’t fit readily elsewhere.
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