How to Spot Bullshido... in Books?
I couldn't find anything regarding how to spot bullshido in books when I did a search, but I feel it's something that should be explored upon. I know some books are more obviously bullshido than others, but it tends to be difficult when looking online. Not to mention the reviews for books on a site like Amazon can be very misleading.
For example, you have a book like The Shaolin Workout: 28 Days to Transforming Your Body and Soul the Warrior's Way. It seems somewhat legit at first, but the title tends to make you think otherwise. Then you have a book like Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu which tends to be more difficult to decide if it's bullshido or not.
The only books I know that aren't bullshido are translations by William S. Wilson and Dave Lowry.
Let me just say this: spotting BS in schools and in books aren't too far in logic from one another.
Also, more importantly, you won't learn kung fu or any other art from a book. As a matter of fact, that's Bullshido at its best. Legitimately learn it first, then get a book if you need a supplement or something.
Just read the reviews on amazon and on other sites, if the book is bad there will usually be at least one guy to tell you about it. Just because it's "shaolin" doesn't mean its bullshido
If you want to know about a book you can also go onti yahoo answers or something and ask people or just ask about here on the forum. I recon bullshido.net should have a section for rating producst like books and DVDs its too bad they havent made one yet
When buying a book it boils down to the reputation and credentials of the author. There are plenty of reputable authors around, you just have to ask on places like this. Possibly the best way of going about it would be if you want to buy a book on subject x, come here and tell people and then ask what good books are available on it. Who are the best authors, and so on. As ysc said, it isn't too hard to spot bullshido in a book.
For instance, if you want to buy a book on strength exercises, there should be something on the cover regarding the authors credentials in that field. You can decide from there if they are good enough for you. That front cover is always your initial acid test, if you are sceptical, leave it, and do some searching around for the author here and other places. It may seem like alot of trouble just for a book, but it's the difference between having a collection of excellent texts and a collection of books that are less accurate than last month's Cosmo.
Use your head, if it sounds to good to be true it probably is. if something doesn't seem realistic it probably isn't. if it looks like it shouldn't work it probably doesn't, although there are some very counter-intuitive things which work very very well so this isn't as reliable as the others.
most importantly you will not learn an art from a book, I admit I own a library of wrestling books/videos but i've wrestled for over 12 years, books/videos/etc. should be a supplement to your learning process not the basis, learn the basics first, and have an instructor work through the book with you if your not comfortable with your grasp of the art.
If you don't already know about the content of the book it will be very hard to judge whether its good or not, because you have no idea whats going on, but it will also be almost impossible to apply anything from the book because you will have no basics, no delivery system. so the best way to find out is to ask someone who knows a lot about the art if the content of the book is any good.
I would though like to see a section here about what books are good and which ones aren't and any red flags anyone can come up with for before you buy it, so we don't end up buying crap, though probably the best thing to do would be to ask your instructor.
Also Partezan I personally wouldn't put much weight on Yahoo! answers, there are a lot of morons there, (more than intelligent people, especially recently many of the intelligent people seem to have left) and most of the reliable ones post on here as well. the people there who are good:
Judomofo(posts here as well)
Bluto Blutarsky(posts here as well)
and thats all I can think of right now
Pick up a few books of the same style (or similar styles) and compare the content of the books. Now unless you know next to nothing on it, this may be all for naught. But otherwise, study the books, compare them for content, then judge yourself. Now I am speaking as in you actually go to a bookstore and/or library and actually pick up the books. Otherwise, look around for reviews. Don't just rely on Amazon or Yahoo for reviews. Look all over the place on the web. Get a title and author of a book, Google it, then go from there.