Home > Articles > Hardware > Upgrading & Repairing

Technology Books for Seniors

  • Print
  • + Share This
Computers aren’t just for kids anymore. More and more seniors are turning to computers and other technology for both work and play, and they need help figuring out how to do what they want to do. To that end, Que has published a variety of technology books of interest to older users. In this article, Michael Miller previews these books for seniors — and recommends specific books for specific users.
Like this article? We recommend

If you’re an older computer user, you might find all the new technology somewhat confusing. (Heck, younger users find some of it challenging, too.) There are lots of resources out there to help you learn the new technology, but not all of it is geared towards the way seniors actually use computers. It’s true; those us over 55 use technology in a much different way than our children or grandchildren do.

When you want to learn more about computers, find the solution to a vexing technology issue, or just discover what you can do with your new hardware and software, the solution is as near as your local bookstore — or online bookstore, if you’re comfortable shopping on the Internet. Que Publishing has a variety of books targeted specifically at seniors — any of which will help you get going quickly with today’s technology.

What makes me an expert on these books for seniors? Well, I do qualify for AARP membership, if that matters. More important, I wrote a lot of these books — so I’m familiar with how seniors use technology, and the issues they face. So read on to learn about my favorite Que books for older readers. There’s a few of them!

My Series... For Seniors

The most obviously useful books for seniors are those in Que’s My... For Seniors series. These are books written specifically for older users, from the first word to the last screenshot. These books not only cover topics of interest to seniors, but also feature larger type and big full-color pictures, so you don’t have to strain your eyes reading them.

The My... For Seniors series covers the most popular technology topics among older users — Windows, Facebook, and the iPad. Each book covers only the most important tasks, so you don’t drown in unnecessary technology overload. The focus is on how seniors use the technology – for example, using Facebook to share photos with your grandkids, or using Internet Explorer to search for seniors-specific websites and information. Just as important, each task is approached in a step-by-step fashion, using plain English and lots of four-color screenshots and illustrations. They’re the perfect books for seniors who need to use the technology but don’t want to learn all the techie details.

There are currently three books in Que’s My… For Seniors series, with more to come. I’ve written two of these books — My Windows 8.1 Computer for Seniors and My Facebook for Seniors. I may be biased (okay, I am biased), but I think these books are perfect for older users who don’t need to become tech experts but do want to use Windows and Facebook to perform essential tasks. My Windows 8.1 Computer for Seniors shows you how to use the Windows 8.1 operating system for work and play, and also covers computer basics — how to choose and set up a new PC. My Facebook for Seniors is all about using that popular social network to keep in touch with family and friends, without giving up too much of your hard-earned privacy.

The third book in the series is My iPad for Seniors, written by Gary Rosenzweig and Gary Eugene Jones. A surprisingly large number of seniors are using tablets instead of or in addition to traditional PCs; if you’re an iPad users, this is the book for you. It covers iOS 7 on the iPad 2 and third and fourth generation iPads, as well as the iPad mini. You’ll learn how your iPad works, how to find the best apps for seniors, and how to use your iPad to communicate with friends and family. It’s a keeper.

In addition to the For Seniors books in the My series, there are lots of other My books that cover topics of interest to seniors in a user-friendly, visual fashion. While they may not be seniors-specific in their coverage or approach, seniors should still find them useful for what they want to do.

I find the following My series books to be of particular interest to older users:

My Windows 8.1 (written by Katherine Murray)

My Google Chromebook, Second Edition (written by yours truly)

My Pinterest (also written by yours truly)

My Samsung Galaxy Note II (written by Craig James Johnston and Guy Hart-Davis)

My iPhone (written by Brad Miser)

My iPad (written by Gary Rosenzweig)

My iPad mini (also written by Gary Rosenzweig)

My MacBook (covers OS X Mavericks) (written by John Ray)

My Samsung Galaxy S 4 (written by Steve Schwartz)

My Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (written by Eric Butow and Lonzell Washington

Easy Series

Older readers tend to like a visual approach to topics — which is just what you get in Que’s long-running Easy series. The Easy series was one of the first four-color, visual series on the market, and it’s achieved remarkable acclaim over the years. I’ve been a fan of this series from when I wrote one of the very first Easy books (Easy Internet, long out-of-print) almost two decades ago.

What you see when you open an Easy book is a series of two-page spreads. Each spread covers a single topic or lesson in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format – complete with big four-color screenshots and illustrations. There’s not a lot of reading involved; you can pretty much figure out what to do just by looking at the pictures. It’s an “easy” approach for any reader, but particularly appealing to seniors.

There are lots of books in the Easy series that a variety of topics, but I’ve identified three titles that cover those topics of most interest to seniors:

Easy Computer Basics, Windows 8.1 Edition, is another one that I wrote; it shows you how to set up and start using a new PC, focusing on Microsoft’s new Windows 8.1 operating system. (Older editions of this book cover older versions of Windows, if that’s what you’re using.

Easy Windows 8.1, written by Mark Edward Soper, skips the general PC stuff and focuses exclusively on Windows, in more depth than what I cover in my book.


Easy Office 2013, written by Patrice-Anne Rutledge and Sherry Kinkoph Gunter, walks you step-by-step through all of the Office apps – including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.


Easy OS X Mavericks, written by Kate Binder, provides a great introduction to Apple’s updated operating system for Macs.


These — and other — Easy books will show you how to do what you need to do. They truly are “easy” books for technology novices.

Absolute Beginner’s Guides

When you want a little more (but not too much) in-depth information, turn to Que’s Absolute Beginner’s Guides. These are traditional one-color books without a lot of pictures, but still written with the needs of everyday users (and seniors) in mind.

A typical Absolute Beginner’s Guide book presents essential tasks and features in practical, easy-to-understand terms. These books help you get the job done without a lot of hassle or unwanted technical gobbledygook.

While the Absolute Beginner’s Guides aren’t written specifically for seniors, I can tell you from my experience that they’re aimed at just the right level for most older users. In fact, I use a lot of seniors-specific examples in the Absolute Beginner’s Guide books that I write, because I know a lot of seniors read these books.

What are the most popular Absolute Beginner’s Guides for seniors today? Here’s a short list to check out:

Windows 8.1 Absolute Beginner's Guide (written by Paul Sanna and Alan Wright); covers everything you need to know about using Microsoft Windows 8.1; there are also older editions available that cover older versions of Windows.



Computer Basics Absolute Beginner's Guide, Windows 8.1 Edition (written by yours truly); covers how to purchase and set up a new desktop or notebook PC, as well as how to use Windows and the Web; there are also older editions available that cover older versions of Windows.



Fixing Your Computer Absolute Beginner's Guide (written by Paul McFedries); covers how to keep your PC in tip-top condition and how to troubleshoot any problems you may encounter.



Wireless Networking Absolute Beginner's Guide (written by yours truly); covers how to set up a Wi-Fi home network and connect all your devices – including your PC, smartphone, tablet – to each other and to the Internet.



Office 2013 All-in-One Absolute Beginner’s Guide (written by Patrice-Anne Rutledge); an oversized edition that covers all the apps in the Microsoft Office suite – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.



iTunes and iCloud for iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch Absolute Beginner's Guide (written by Brad Miser); it’s a long title, but this book covers the iTunes software and store, plus Apple’s iCloud service, on all these popular devices.



As the series tagline says, there’s “no experience necessary” to learn from these books. When you want a quick and easy read about a vexing technology topic, there’s an Absolute Beginner’s Guide for you.

Other Useful Books for Seniors

In addition to all the My, Easy, and Absolute Beginner’s Guide books previously mention, Que also offers a handful of other books that cover topics of interest to seniors in a way that older users will find useful. Let’s take a quick look at some of these titles.

PCs for Grown-Ups, written by Paul McFedries, shows older users how to get the most out of their Windows 8 computers. It gets right down to those tasks common among older users, in a friendly, relaxed tone. Plus, this book features larger-type and zoomed-in graphics that many seniors are sure to appreciate.


Facebook for Grown-Ups is yet another book that I wrote. In fact, this was the first seniors-oriented book that I wrote and that Que published, so it kind of set the mold. The focus here is on how adults use Facebook different from the way do younger users. (And there’s a big difference, believe me.) If you have kids or grandkids on Facebook, this book is for you.

I also wrote Selling Your Crafts Online. A lot of older users make their own crafts, and online marketplaces such as Etsy and eBay make it easy to sell those crafts online. Pick up a copy of this one if you want to make a little money selling your crafts over the Internet.


Talking to Siri is all about the voice technology built into Apple’s iPhones. Authors Erica Sadun and Steve Sande are Apple tech experts, and their books shows you how to get the most out of Siri on your iPhone.


Finally, Windows 8.1 on Demand, written by Steve Johnson, is a four-color book that’s a little like a hands-on course in a book. You get a mix of step-by-step tutorials, in-depth workshops, and real-world projects – an approach that many seniors will find particularly useful.

Where Can You Find These Wonderful Books?

These and other Que books can be found wherever books are sold. That means your local independent bookstore, of course, as well as Barnes & Noble, Crown Books, and other national book chains. You can also find the books at Amazon.com and other online retailers. And Que has its own website (where you are now) where you can buy both print and electronic versions of all these titles — look for the Shop Now link at the top of this page. Whether you like reading a traditional printed book or on one of those newfangled e-reader or tablet devices, Que has a version just for you.

Wherever you like to buy your books, make sure you check out the titles I mention here. The authors — myself included — do a great job presenting information that all seniors should find useful and interesting. There’s a lot you can do with your computer or tablet, so read up and learn all about it!

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020