While the title might initially sound condescending, it is anything but that. The "For Dummies" series of books is a playful take on the fact that most technical books are not really tailored for beginners and, in many ways, made the novice reader really feel out of his depth. Its Wikipedia page reads:
For Dummies is an extensive series of instructional/reference books which are intended to present non-intimidating guides for readers new to the various topics covered. Despite the title, their publisher has taken great pains to emphasize that the For Dummies books are not literally for dummies. The subtitle for every book is, "A Reference for the Rest of Us!".
The "For Dummies" series specifically targets users who want a little more hand-holding and a friendlier, fun, yet effective approach which includes:
- Explanations in plain English
- "Get in, get out" information
- Icons and other navigational aids
- Tear-out cheat sheet
- Top ten lists
- A dash of humor and fun
The "Complete Idiot's Guide" is another successful series that is based on a similar premise.