Topic: Trying to make out a list of best books to study Geography for UPSC or IAS mains and PT.
Geography has been one of my subsidiary subjects when I was pursuing my graduation during the 2008-11 session at Nalanda College, Magadh University. It’s certainly diverse and a wide horizon which hides many things beneath and lets us have a view of so many things above. There are many of my friends who have been preparing for UPSC; some of them have become IAS and some of them have just started and some of them have been preparing for some time now. However, among all, one thing is certainly common – the choice-making of the books for preparations. Choosing books for IAS preparations is not an easy job. An aspirant has to weigh the measures, check the usefulness and talk to the experts and especially the ones who have already cracked the exam. Nonetheless, many of my Geography friends and also the friends of my younger brother, often discuss the bookish things with me knowing my credentials – a book guy. Today, I will present to you what they talk to me and how do they approach for good books of Geography for UPSC Mains and GS preparations.
A basic plan for choosing the best geography books for IAS preparation:
1. Is the content useful and a level above?
2. Who is the author? What are his or her credentials?
3. Do the aspirants find it useful? Find the guys who have read it. Ask them.
4. What’s my initial feedback after reading a few pages? What’s my response after reading two chapters?
5. Does it have something beyond the concept? Does it contain an extra layer of cheesy content?
6. Do the book forums online and offline approve of this book?
7. You have your book now!
Rajeev, one of the most brilliant students of Nalanda College and the batch topper, has started his UPSC preparations with Geography as the elective subject for mains. Whenever I meet him, he is surrounded by books of Geography – Indian Geography, World Geography, Economic Geography and so many others. This Sunday (the past one), I talked to him about the most useful books that he has found till the date for UPSC preparations based on the syllabus and expert advice. He has told me about 6 books that he was currently observing and using for his IAS ambition mainly beside many other books.
1. Indian and World Geography by Majid Husain: First published in 2011, the book has an ever-increasing popularity and it does find its place in almost every UPSC aspirant’s book corner. Majid Husain’s book as an instant-info mode activated and it allows the readers to gain the information they are looking for. Supported with maps and diagrams, the book contains information (primary and important) about the economic and physical aspects of geography related to India and the world. This book can be very useful for UPSC aspirants because it covers the syllabus of Geography and is revised over time to meet the expectations. You can get a copy of this book from Amazon online story by clicking the link below (opens in a new tab):
2. Geography Through Maps by K. Siddhartha: UPDATED – this is not a good book for your UPSC goals! Ignore this book because of the following reasons:
Very bad print quality
Black and white maps
Data and records are too old to be followed or used
The content of the book is not so worthy to be used by serious UPSC aspirants
These are the factors that I have found after a thorough study of the book and I WILL NOT SUGGEST ANYONE BUY THIS BOOK! Ignore it! You can rather buy a very good atlas and a quality book on Indian Geography. Kitab Mahal has done a very dirty job at printing to convert this book into a further mess! Ignore other books published by them!