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Book Review: Modern Vim

Rating: 2/5

One of the goals I had this year was to improve my developer workflow. I had been using VSCode, and that’s served me well over the last few years, but I had gotten pretty lazy with using the mouse a lot and not bothering to learn the hotkeys. I had experience with vi/vim back in college and enjoyed it, so I decided to go back to my roots. I don’t work with extremely large codebases as I’m more into devops these days, and feel that it works great for my use. I already knew the basics, and was looking for an extra boost with some plugins and neat tricks. Unfortunately, this book didn’t help with that too much.

The Good

  • If you are not aware of Neovim, this book will enlighten you. It’s a Lua-based version of vim which I appreciated because learning vimscript is practically useless. Not that Lua is super popular either, but it does give you the feeling that it’s a skill that could be useful somewhere, where vimscript only applies to vim.
  • Following the last point, one of Neovim’s cool features is the terminal emulator. This book goes into that quite a bit which I appreciated.
  • It mentions quite a lot of plugins, there may be a couple that help you.

The Bad

  • Most of the plugins in this book are outdated or replaced by better versions already. Neovim has made quite a lot of strides in the years since it was written (2018). You could probably just go to this awesome neovim repo and get more than you will from this book.
  • It feels like the author wrote it just to promote Tim Pope. Most of the plugins that were mentioned were from him. He is talented and worth a follow, but I questioned the purpose of writing this book. It seemed to just be a money grab and promotion for Tim.
  • It’s expensive for the value it provides. I buy programming-related books because I don’t feel like googling for hundreds of hours to learn what I could in a fraction of that time by reading a book. I didn’t get that value from this book. I actually felt that just googling for the best plugins for Neovim could give you more value.


I ended up going through this whole book in a week and returning it to Amazon. It’s not worth keeping and there is better information on the internet. That being said, it at least enlightens you to some things you were not made aware of before. I would recommend that if you see a plugin you like in this book, do a google search and see if there is a better version.

Published inBook Reviews