Over the past ten years, I have had the pleasure of reading each iteration of an incredible book, Essentials of Polarized Light Microscopy, by John Gustav Delly. Like updating a great piece of software, each version gets better, with essential information consolidated into one easy-to-understand volume.

Culled from John’s encyclopedic knowledge and experience in microscopy, the soon-to-be-published edition, Essentials of Polarized Light Microscopy and Ancillary Techniques, is a culmination of seventy-plus years of microscopy know-how, skills, and techniques boiled down into its essential elements. Written in an accessible style, it almost feels like John is standing over your shoulder, guiding you along through your study of polarized light microscopy. This kind of writing is rare to find in a field where texts on this subject can often get bogged-down in difficult to understand language and concepts. It is also loaded with valuable bibliographic references, some of which are annotated by John. As you read, you’ll soon discover other valuable, and often times unknown, references that put you on a reading tangent, making the stack of must-read books on your desk grow with each passing chapter.

To those of you who have been so gracious as to read previous versions of the text and provide valuable feedback, we thank you. Below is a sampling of this great contribution to the field of polarized light microscopy (click on any image to open the image gallery). Essentials is finished, and the formatting is almost completed; it will be made available to the public shortly. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Essentials is available for purchase!]