Open Circuits is a coffee table book by Eric Schlaepfer and Windell H. Oskay, published by no starch press (here). I waited for its release for a few months, and every minute was worth it. In 304 pages, the authors crack open – slice through, to be precise – staple electronic components. A short descriptive paragraph introduces each circuit, and one or more pictures show its hidden inner secrets. I have to confess, I often thought “Ah! So that’s how it is made!” And that makes me happy! The photos are the center of interest, and the book’s good print quality serves them well. Luckily, the publisher didn’t go for the rubbish and smelly prints I see too often these days.

Although the treatment of some components is better than others, the book definitively is worth the asked ~$40. The Afterword section presents the techniques used to cut and photograph the pieces. For example – if you didn’t know – you will learn how they used focus stacking to compose those fantastic close-ups. True, the approach is blunter than and less elaborate than, for example, the techniques deployed by Don Komarechka (here or here) to capture snowflakes. Nonetheless, Open Circuits, the inner beauty of electronic components, is an excellent coffee table book with an original focus on electronics.