I bought this book because I wanted a basic treatment of machine shop tools and processes. I am not a machinist, but I'd like to add that to my list of hobbies at some point, and before I jumped in, I wanted to read up on what I should expect in terms of equipment, tooling, how-to's and such. This book is smack on for that sort of thing. It's also done in the same style as Welding Essentials (another very good book) -- sort of a question and answer format. As a welder, I still consult that book on occasion, and I could see coming back to Machine Shop Essentials as a reference in the same way. The illustrations are very good. Worth the money for me.