I've seen several "textbook recommendation" type questions on MSE, and some of them have been quite popular and helpful. In a lot of them, the poster provides their mathematical background information and their requirements to get better suggestions. However when I tried to mimic that template, my question was put on hold for seeking personal advice.

What is the ideal way to ask for a text recommendation question? Should absolutely no personal information be given? Should I just ask for objective comparisons between a few mentioned books? Also, what other forums are suitable for asking such questions?

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    $\begingroup$ There are a few related posts here on meta, for example: Is it appropriate to ask for references and book recommendations?, Book recommendation opinion based? $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2018 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Very helpful, thanks. $\endgroup$
    – ZSMJ
    Oct 16, 2018 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ I think that the site benefits from single, general, all-purpose book recommendation lists. But what I don't like is the folks that come in, completely ignore all the great recommendations that already exist, and then pour out their life story and requirement lists so that we can give them an intimate recommendation that is exactly what they want. So, if you're asking about a subject with no recommendations out there already, I'd say "OK!" but if you want to do the latter please do it in chat. If you're stuck somewhere else between let me know what the problem is and I'll see what I can do. $\endgroup$
    – rschwieb
    Oct 16, 2018 at 13:33
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @rschwieb. There are many topics that have multiple reference requests associated with them, and in many of them, the requests range from those that are "gentle introductions" to those that are "concise and rigorous", or successors to introductory texts. So for "(abstract) algebra, real analysis, linear algebra, complex analysis, etc., search first for the topic and tag [reference-request], and you'll get many great hits. Many other topics are also covered with reference request posts, too! How to search on this site. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Oct 16, 2018 at 19:19
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps some of this depends on how old the existing thread is. If it's one year old, then a new recommendation request on the same topic is probably not appropriate. If it's five years old, I see no problem. A lot gets published in five years. $\endgroup$
    – C Monsour
    Oct 23, 2018 at 3:21


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