People who want to improve their chess like buying books and at that I'm certainly no exception, I have to hold myself back from buying books anyway.
When I got tired of just reading chess blogs, that went largely beyond my comprehension anyway, when I was done doing some exercises on the Chess Tactics Server on an irregular base, and when I had had it with getting my ass handed to me with the very few games that I played I started thinking about getting a bit more serious about chess and improving myself. The natural response is obvious: start buying chess books!
So that's what I set out to do, but where to start. A friend of mine, we'll call him Jabba, lend me a copy of a Dutch translation of:
A.J. Gillam, Simple Chess Tactics, 1978.
Whilst working my way trough this book I wanted more, more exercises and a more thorough understanding of the basics based on a modern method. To start with the latter, thankfully I live in the Netherlands where there are several choices for books that are based on the infamous Steps Method. This is also the method where Tasc Chess Tutor is based on.
I got myself a complete series of five books so I had all Steps. ("Step" is the English translation of the Dutch word Stap.
Brunia & Wijgerden, Lekker Schaken. Stap 1
Brunia & Wijgerden, Lekker Schaken. Stap 2
Brunia & Wijgerden, Lekker Schaken. Stap 3
Brunia & Wijgerden, Lekker Schaken. Stap 4
Brunia & Wijgerden, Lekker Schaken. Stap 5
(= Let's Play Chess. Step 1 etc.)
Now I had the basics covered and got Dutch translations/editions of the first three of a four book series that would provide me with quite some exercises. I can't find proof of existence of that fourth one anywhere, although it is mentioned in at least one of those books. It's possible it wasn't published, or that at least there wasn't a Dutch edition of it.
A.J. Gillam, Starting Chess, 1977/1978, 128 pages (nice to have the first part of the series as well, however it's useless compared to the Steps!)
A.J. Gillam, Simple Chess Tactics, 1978, 136 pages
A.J. Gillam, Simple Checkmates, 1978, 128 pages
Then I got myself a birthday present and a motivational tool: Once I can understand this one, I'll know a thing or two about chess.
R.J. Fischer, My 60 Memorable Games, Faber and Faber, 1972 (or a later reprint), 384 pages
Currently I've ordered a few books, but I'll write about those once I've got them.
1 hour ago