The Fine Art of Prescribing Glasses Without Making a Spectacle of Yourself by B. Milder and MX. Rubin. Gainesville, FIa: Triad Communications; 1991. 526 pages.
This fine book is an updated version of a volume which won the award as the best medical book of 1979 by the American Medical Writers Association.
The present addition adds the important areas of polycarbonate safety lenses, progressive power lenses, the optics of IOLs, and what you should know about a patient who just had a radial keratotomy.
Aside from being a gold mine of refractive information, its witty and poetic style make it truly fun reading, which is unusual for a book on optics.
For example, look at the way the chapter on refractive surgery is introduced:
"Refractive surgery, it is said
Will render glasses obsolescent
Rejoicing myopes look ahead
For them, no world could be more pleasant.
Although the idea sounds enticing,
You could fall short when you are slicing;
Since no one's perfect (let's concede it),
Spectacles could still be needed*
The book is loaded with clinical pearls. For example, "myopes whose radial keratotomy overcorrected them (making them hyperopic) will tell you that their vision gets better in the evening, while undercorrected myopes see better on awakening. Because of the peripheral knee of corneal steepening after radial keratotomy, a dilated pupil may introduce the optical effect of the surgerized corneal periphery and induce blurred vision."
Clearly, Milder and Rubin know their subject and know how to communicate. If the book has a failing, it is in the paucity of illustrations. These outstanding teachers could well be reminded that one picture is indeed worth a thousand words. All in all, the book is one of the best examples of understandable optics to be found anywhere, and is a worthy addition to every library.