Don't think you need a full reference library; all you need is one reference book to help you occasionally.
Surprisingly, there haven't been too many books on shorting -- or even on the art of selling. One I like is Sy Harding's
Riding the Bear: How to Prosper in the Coming Bear Market
. It came out in late 1999 -- how's that for auspicious timing! If the "buy & hold" investors had read this back then, they would have saved a lot of money. It's just as sensible today.
Another well-timed book is
When to Sell
by Justin Mamis. This was published in 1929(!). It's a bit slow going, but is filled with good observations about developing a sell strategy.
A basic approach to shorting is William J. O'Neil's
How to Make Money Selling Stocks Short
. Pure fundamentalists should be forewarned: it is very technically driven, and may be hard going for those with an aversion to charts. That's just as well; fundamentals can tell you
what to buy, sell or short -- but not
when. And timing is especially crucial when it comes to shorting.
Given my inclination towards quantitative, trend, sentiment and macro economics, I am admittedly an outsider on pure fundamentals. But I have found these books to be valuable additions to my knowledge base.
Stocks for the Long Run
by Jeremy Siegel is a terrific overview of all things equity. It's a great place to start, although many fundamentalists would advise you to begin with
The Intelligent Investor
by Ben Graham, which is considered the bible of value investing.
I find Warren Buffett intriguing. His annual reports are legendary; reading them is an education in itself. Start with
Warren Buffett Speaks: Wit and Wisdom from the World's Greatest Investor
by Janet Lowe. If you want the unvarnished words from the man himself, then choose
The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America
by Warren E. Buffett.
I would be remiss if I left out Peter Lynch. You can read any of his books, but I like
One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market
. Lynch shows how people can use their own experience to gain an edge on Wall Street. (We discussed this
One of the reasons I am not a fundie is that I don't do forensic accounting (bor-ing!). However, a readable approach to getting at those footnotes is
Financial Fine Print
by Michelle Leder. Those of you who are technically oriented may find this is a tough slog.