4 Great Books to Learn Basic Electronics

For the last 3 years or so, we have been providing great educational content on electronics for free through this website. We have hundreds of circuits and theoretical articles on various topics which you can freely use to learn. But “Electronics” is a vast and wide subject and there are plenty of areas that aren’t even touched yet.

We get lots of requests from readers in the form of comments and e-mails asking – How can I start learning electronics; Where to begin electronics learning; Which are the good books to learn electronics? etc. It’s a hard question to answer as there are plenty of resources to learn electronics. How ever we thought to list 4 really good books to learn basic electronics. The books are not necessarily in any order – but the first book by Forrest Mims is hand picked 🙂 It’s a really really good book and we recommend it to any one who is interested in Electronics.  Books are arranged in such a way – Title comes first, then a little briefing about contents of the book, a little about the Author and finally links to different shopping sites are given – where you can purchase the book. Links are given for India, USA and UK only. For other countries, readers can order themselves from a shopping cart of their country. We selected Amazon as the shopping cart vendor for USA and UK. In India we selected Flipkart – as they offer one of the best rates and customer service.

Note: Some books are not available in all countries. Please bear with this!

#1  Getting Started in Electronics by Forrest.M.Mims

“One of the best books to start in Electronics” – that’s my best comment about this book. 

buy getting started in electronics

Sold more than 1.3 million copies so far, this is the single best seller in technical publishing, that outshines many popular novels!  Known popularly as “Engineers Notebook” – this book is printed in the “hand written” format. It has 100+ basic circuits which are tested more than 3 times (to eliminate all possible errors) by the author himself. This book also explains all basic components in analog and digital electronics along with their functions and uses. You can learn how these components work and how they fit into various circuit applications.

About the Author:-

Forrest M Mims III – is best known as an amateur scientist. He holds a place in the “History of Electronics” as the designer of the first personal computer – “Altair8800” using the Intel8080 micro processor. You can read about his contribution in our History of Electronics – Infographics (See year – 1975). Mims has written over 50+ books on various topics of electronics and has been sold over 7 million copies. The interesting fact about Forrest Mims is that – he has no formal academic training in science subjects. He majored in English and History!! He was quiet curious about science from his childhood & he learned and researched science from his curiosity 🙂

Buy this Book:

Getting Started in Electronics  –  USA

Getting Started in Electronics  –  India

Getting Started in Electronics  – UK

#2  Make Electronics – Learning by Discovery by Charles Platt (2nd Edition)

“Learn while you make” – that’s the best one liner for this book.

buy make electronics by charles platt

This is a great book where you can practice first and learn while you make the circuit. A totally different approach given to electronics self-teaching. The book encourages you to think  – “Why it is so” ?. In one of the first experiments author asks reader to touch battery leads with tongue – what a fun way to begin learning electronics. The problem with most books on “basic electronics” is they all teach mathematical circuit analysis first! – which is not appealing to the beginner 😉 As a starter in electronics one should wet his/her hands first at experimenting. This kind of trial and error experimenting develops curiosity. To solve curiosity one starts asking – “Why it happens so”. This is the point where you should start learning theory. When you start learning theory after experimenting with stuff – you will understand theory efficiently and faster.

So this book is really great to get your hands wet! Highly recommended.

Note:-  ProTechTrader – a company which specializes in electronics component trading in USA has released a pretty useful Component Kit based on this book – Make Electronics – Learning by Discovery (2nd Edition). We have reviewed this Component Kit from ProTechTrader in detail. This kit is pretty useful for any beginner in electronics and can accelerate your learning curve by many folds.

About the Author:-

Charles Platt – is a first generation electronics author of the 70’s and 80’s. He is now a contributing editor of the world famous Make Magazine. He as written popular science fiction novels like -The silicon man. In addition he is also a first generation computer programmer.

Buy this Book:

Make Electronics – Learning by Discovery – USA

Make Electronics – Learning by Discovery – India

Make Electronics – Learning by Discovery – UK

#3  All New Electronics – Self Teaching Guide by Harry Kybett & Earl Boysen

“Understand the underlying theory” – A great book to learn theory!

buy basic electronics books

We saw two great books on practical electronics by now! They offer not just practical circuits, but the above two books helps you learn theory also while making circuits. But those two books are not that great when it comes mathematical analysis and pure science based theory explanation. What about following such a book? Here I recommend “All New Electronics-Self Teaching Guide” from Wiley publications to satisfy your theoretical needs. As I wrote earlier in this article -theory is really important. But you grasp theory more clearly after experimenting with stuff! 🙂 At least, my personal experience is that way! And that is why I recommend theory book as #3 and practical ones in #1 and #2

You can learn the following from this book so easily:-

  • Mathematical calculations to understand operation of circuits
  • Concepts you need to understand to design electronic circuits
  • Key components of electronics like Transistors,IC’s – get a really good understanding of them.
  • Understand power supplies, oscillators, amplifiers,filtering and more

About the Authors:-

In fact this book is the third edition. Harry Kybett wrote the first two editions (first published 30 years ago) and after his demise, Earl Boysen wrote the latest third edition. Harry Kybett was director of engineering at Columbia Pictures. Earl Boysen is an engineer and co author of the popular “Electronics for Dummies” book.

Buy this Book:

All New Electronics-Self Teaching Guide – USA

All New Electronics-Self Teaching Guide – India

All New Electronics-Self Teaching Guide – UK

#4  Practical Electronics for Inventors by Paul Scherz

“What next after learning basics?” – This book is the answer to that question 🙂

You may ask why I need a 4th book to learn basic electronics? Haven’t I learned as much basics by reading the above 3 books. In a way – yes! By the time you finish the 3rd book (i.e Book #3) – you will have a thorough understanding of basic electronic concepts. You may then ask – Why you are adding a 4th book then? I have some reasons for that!

The first two books – Getting started in Electronics by Forrest Mims and Make Electronics by Charles Platt focused on “experimenting” with basic electronic circuits. They didn’t focus much on theory – the physics and mathematics that underlies any circuit application! Hence came the need to understand sound theory behind electronics and I suggested “All New Electronics” by Harry Kybett. Though this book explains theory well, it failed to connect these theories with real life applications. You learn the theory behind tank circuit and you fail to understand how it is applied in real life – how fuzzy is that?

And that is the single best reason to buy this book by Paul Scherz – Practical Electronics for Inventors bridges this gap. It is a book that connects theory with real life.  The highlight of this book is 750+ hand drawn illustrations that will help you turn theoretical ideas to real life inventions. Finally this is the only book on basic electronics that gives a really good introduction to the next step – the micro controllers!

Buy this Book:

Practical Electronics for Inventors – USA

Practical Electronics for Inventors – India

Practical Electronics for Inventors – UK

Show Comments

85 thoughts on “4 Great Books to Learn Basic Electronics

  1. John

    Thanks for posting these. Grob’s Basic Electronics is probably the best for starting out. While Mims deserves some credit, he was an English major. He never bothered to take the tough courses that us engineers slaved through. A few times I’ve heard liberal arts types crowing about their “critical thinking skills,” I’ve trotted out a mechanics problem or RLC. That had an almost magical effect in quieting them. If you want a good read, try Steve Wozniak’s iWoz. While not a technical how-to book, it is a fascinating story of a real engineer at work, inventing and building Apple computers. Any engineering student should read it to get a sense of the methodology he used, which was superb.

  2. kunal khandagale

    thanks for helping me out, i was searching for the electronic books from which i can have the best knowledge.I will surely buy this books.

  3. Angad

    Thank You for giving a valuable suggestions,Sir I would request also to give some information on documentations which should be prepared while designing,analyzing ,testing etc of circuits .

  4. Quenton Bonds

    Hello nice article!

    You stated in the last sentence that;

    “Finally this is the only book on basic electronics that gives a really good introduction to the “Next Step” – the micro controllers!”

    Have you done a review on micro-controller books?

  5. jin

    i want those books to learn the electronics.please give the information how can i get those books.I am in nizamabad district.mandal bodhan.thank u for authors.

  6. Joseph N. Massah

    I really want to be one of the best Electrical/Electronics Design Engineers in my country, Liberia. This is my dream and it can only comes to reality, firstly by the Almighty God and you. I need your help and support by mains of getting these books.May God bless you,

  7. prabhat kormakar

    I want learn electronics. I study electronics in diploma. I want buy a few many books & I hope you suggest to me which book is better for me ?

  8. inchara

    i want to buy “getting started in electronics ” by forrest .m.mims so i want informatoin from where i buy in karnataka state (shimoga district) please inform
    thank you

  9. Lawrence

    Am new to the site and really enjoying what I am getting. How can I get the books in Kenya? Great site and contributors!

    • john

      Hello Muili Ibrahim, You could search for the books at a nearby book store. If you cannot find it you will have to order the books online by clicking on the links given in this page. Please note that you will have to pay the additional shipping costs as well along with the book price.

  10. B.sharanya

    hi,i want those books to learn the electronics.please give the information how can i get those books.I am in nizamabad district.mandal bodhan.thank u for authors.

    • Obi Agbor Michael

      Hi thanks a lot for those four books they are very intresting please how can i have them writing from Cameroon thanks.



  12. lordebus

    thanks for your aid. This books are not in my location sooo why donot guys make them online for viewing and downloads. .thanks

  13. V. Hari Hara Prasad

    in 1974, we used to read the marvin and Tepper series of electricity and Electronics books. After those, came HenryJacobwitz (I think is the name)- BASIC ELECTRONICS book. It taught us in depth about the concepts. Hope with 4th and fifth gen, these books need to be consulted. Anyhow, accept my appreciation. Also, please refer any PDF books and the books from the JohnGuttenberg Project or any of the e-book formats, available free to all. I feel, free books also are doing much service.

    thank you once again.

  14. jocel

    how i wish we have thase book in the philippines.. we dont have those in the bookstore. i love electronics since grade 4 . all my knowledge came from my own interest .

  15. RICK

    @JOJO Mr. Mims has been writing Books about Electronics For At Least 40 Years!! He was a HUGE Contributor of Electronic Hobbyist Books in which he wrote for Radio Shack at a time when lots of young people were into Electronics (Unlike Today) I purchased His Book Called Transistors
    and Transistor Projects in 1972,,which motivated me to complete a Electronic Engineering Technology program.Two people motivated me in Electronics 1) Mr.Mims and 2) My Grade 7 Electronics Teacher. Oh by The way My Teacher suggested that I Take up Some Reading With Mr.Mims I must Say A WISE Suggestion By My Teacher!! 4 Great Books has moved this site from A+ to A+++++. Nice Job Here…Many THANKS!!!

  16. jojo Post author

    @RICK – You are right 🙂 Mims is a great personality.

    @Roy – Thanks for the comment. Please share with like minded people.

  17. RICK

    Mr Mims ha been writing Electronics Books For Years,,,,,He Is a Expert when it comes to ELECTRONICS,,,,I have a High Respect for Mr Mims and the Books he writes…Thank You for including Him!!!


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