I ordered all four of them and found only position 3 answering to my expectations. 4 is also worth to have just as general reference. Books 1 and 2 i put on the farthest bookshelf just to never open it again.
The last thing you (might) have to do is to go to other people's shows and take a close look at their work. Think about the lighting; for example, what kind(s) of light source, do they use for their displays?
It's important to check back and forth between your darkroom and other places like that, not to manupilate but just compare and learn to evaluate yours by yourself. You will learn the quality of your prints with your own eyes eventually. And I don't think any books really mention that.
Well, since I was in the city today, I found a great book: The Master Printer's Workbook: A professional Guide to B&W Darkroom Techniques by Steve Macleod. Really great examples with very detailed technical explanations for each.
I'm no master printer but I would highly recommend "Edge of Darkness" by Barry Thornton and "Way Beyond Monochrome" by Woodhouse and Lambrecht. Being relatively new to photography and darkroom work, these books were of immense help in modifying and tailor fitting my developing and printing methods. Unfortunately Barry Thornton passed away a couple of years ago but his book revolutionized the way I define image quality and it steered me away from my "ultra fine grained" image fetish and more towards acutance and sharpness. Along with help from APUG members I found that these two books allowed me to improve my printing methods in leaps and bounds.
I will give you the name of 2 good books. The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller...A must read book for the inspired darkroom worker...and Les Miserable by Victor Hugo...for consolation when everything in the darkroom seems to turn to dreck.
First of all, I am unfortunately no master printer (yet .
I find the book "The Master Printer's" by Steve Macleod to be a good one. It's not die-hard technical or anything but shows the image, a sketch and a some text on what was done to achieve the result. Between the images are also more text about the technique in general.
1 darkroom planning and contruction
3 exposure and development
4 film processing
5 from film to contact sheet
6 paper processing
7 advancing from the basic print
8 printed borders and keylines
9 split-grade and flashing techniques
10 print toning and toners
11 lith printing
12 the demise of the darkroom