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The question Recommendation for books on topology (light reads) was closed as opinion based. What is the purpose of the book recommendation tag if not for exactly what it was used for here?

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  • $\begingroup$ It seems like it has been reopened. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Jul 8 '15 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ That didnt take long $\endgroup$ – user135229 Jul 8 '15 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ Right, maybe because it shouldn't have been closed :) $\endgroup$ – Thomas Jul 8 '15 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ This seems to be - to some extent - similar to the older thread: What is the use of tag “book-recommendation”? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 8 '15 at 16:12
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As you have noticed the question has been reopened.

From time to time you will experience that people will disagree over whether or not to close certain questions. The best thing is to be calm and give it some time for things to sort themselves out.

In general, if you would like a question reopened, you shouldn't start a new META thread on it, you should instead post the request as an answer here:

Requests for Reopen & Undeletion Votes, etc. (volume 01/2015 - ) [current version]

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What is the purpose of the book recommendation tag

For asking specific book recommendation questions.

Good

  • I am looking for a PDE book that covers systems of nonlinear equations and does not use heavy functional analysis tools.

Bad

  • I am looking for a good PDE book that's easy to read. Please suggest.
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I voted to close the question as primarily opinion based because it is primarily opinion based (not to say anybodies guess) what constitutes light reading for a person that did initially not even give their background in the most rudimentary form. But even given the rudimentary background it is still quite unclear what is meant.

It seems N.H.'s question should give you already some idea why somebody might find your question under-specified and as a consequence primarily opinion based. I will discuss this below in detail.

For convenience here is the questions as I voted it

Lightly read boks on topology

Are there any books on topology which can be read without having to do any exercises and look up definitions every second line? Something to read while relaxing, and not meant to replace a textbook but perhaps accompany one? Im specifically interested in algebraic topology but that might be too much to ask for.

Let us go through it step-by-step.

Are there any books on topology which can be read without having to do any exercises and look up definitions every second line?

One can read many book in this form, at least one can start to read many books in this way. Of course at the end one will not have retained the majority of things but perhaps ones goal is to just get a rough impression. How is one supposed to know what's your goal is?

More specifically, what do you mean by "look up definitions every second line?" Do you mean that you do not want to flip back in the book to look-up material covered earlier (following a references) or rather are you worried that terms are used that are not in the book at all. These are quite different concerns.

Something to read while relaxing,

What is this supposed to mean? That is, should it not be too large and heavy (in a physical sense) or something else? To be clear, this is not meant as a joke; the Princeton Companion of Mathematics would be great for general light reading while relaxing, but it'd be a bit inconvenient to take it to the beach.

and not meant to replace a textbook but perhaps accompany one?

Again, I have no idea what specific criteria this should imply. It will also hugely depend on the textbook one reads in parallel. But, do you even intend to read a textbook in parallel?

Im specifically interested in algebraic topology but that might be too much to ask for.

Okay. But what do you even have as background? Or as a goal?

You see it is completely unclear to me what are your specific criteria and it is thus primarily opinion based what is a good suggestion.

I for one think Hatcher's "Algebraic Topology" could be the perfect book given the criteria as I might understand them.

Of course we could still all give our suggestions, putting aside that it is unclear what you are asking, but then the question is basically "What book around topology do you like?" which is too borad and again primarily opinion based.

For a general read which questions for recommendation are good and which are not you can read "Good subjective, Bad subjective"

For book-recommendations specifically make at least clear:

  • What is the goal of reading the book?

  • How long do you intend to spend on the book?

  • What else will you do in parallel?

  • What do you already know?

To sum it up: The question is underspecified and thus unclear, opinion-based, and/or too broad. Possibly I should have stated my concerns or asked for clarification right away, but then I was a bit short on time and there were many.

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