4 Great Books to Learn Basic Electronics

jojo June 14, 2016 85 Comments

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

Comments
  • John
    January 3, 2016

    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.

  • pinky
    August 21, 2015

    For basic electronics books you can read http://gyanpal.com/gate/gate-recommended-books.php

  • July 28, 2015

    Very nice list, I already own 3 of these books, and they are indeed fantastic!

  • VICTOR
    June 30, 2015

    very nice and informative website, keep it up

  • tanishq mehta
    January 12, 2015

    sir,in these books is it given that how to make electronics or just explanation

    • jojo
      January 12, 2015

      @Tanishq – You can learn a lot abt basic electronics.

  • tony
    December 19, 2014

    thank you for your guidence

  • kunal khandagale
    August 8, 2014

    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.

  • Angad
    July 28, 2014

    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 .

  • Quenton Bonds
    June 14, 2014

    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?

  • Ali Alavi
    April 23, 2014

    Hello, My friends and I have a High Respect for Mr Mims, the author of this book. Regards Ali.

  • daniel
    March 14, 2014

    how can people in nigeria buy these books

  • February 24, 2014

    Is this book available for free download. Please how do i download a copy

  • February 21, 2014

    how can i make a power amplifier to set up 5v to about 10-12v?

  • Samuel Chinonso
    February 16, 2014

    I realy need those books… How can I get it in Nigeria..?

    • Jay Kellevera
      June 3, 2015

      You got an email? I’ll send them to you.

  • February 13, 2014

    hi guyz,it’s really cul to learn electronics .i hope to learn all the basic concepts.

  • February 7, 2014

    thankyou so much

  • January 26, 2014

    I have a High Respect for Mr Mims and the Books he writes…Thank You for including Him!!!

  • January 26, 2014

    i need ur help always in contact.pls…

  • January 26, 2014

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

    • Josh
      February 10, 2014

      Hi there;

      I am in kenya too (Nairobi). May be we can work together on projects.

      Thanks

  • January 26, 2014

    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.

    • john
      January 27, 2014

      Hello Jin,
      You can buy the books by clicking on the Flipkart link. Place the order and provide your address.

  • Joseph N. Massah
    January 17, 2014

    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,

  • November 28, 2013

    I LIKE TO BE AMONG THE BEST ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONICS DESIGN ENGINEERS,HOW CAN YOU HELP ME TO DO THESE PLEASE!

  • Lysis Beche
    November 25, 2013

    Im from Mauritius how can I purchase these books ? How much do they cost?

  • November 19, 2013

    very interesting and helpful site i enjoyed and will be revisiting keep up the great work

  • Sams ababio
    November 7, 2013

    Pls sir, how can i get a copy? From Nigeria.

  • Razak
    October 25, 2013

    i want learn more about electronics

  • christopher gabienu
    October 14, 2013

    I want to be pefect in radio,television, amplifier etc

  • October 1, 2013

    sir
    very nice blog and very most books.

  • September 10, 2013

    It might take you and I many more hours of hard work, dedication, research, mentors, and resources

    where can get these books online

  • prabhat kormakar
    September 8, 2013

    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 ?

  • September 5, 2013

    Quality articles is the crucial to interest the visitors to pay a quick visit the web page, that’s what this site
    is providing.

  • inchara
    September 3, 2013

    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

    • jojo
      September 5, 2013

      You can buy it online from FlipKart.com

  • Lawrence
    July 23, 2013

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

  • mohammed naveed
    July 14, 2013

    Its Awesome to learn

  • July 14, 2013

    I want to learn electronics. I need your guidance.

  • June 30, 2013

    I WANT TO LEARN ELECTRONIC WITH THE HELP OF YOU.PLEASE HELP ME.

  • Abera
    June 26, 2013

    I’m from deeppoor family please help me toget these books 100% free.thank you for your help!

  • mani
    June 26, 2013

    great books thanks

  • June 18, 2013

    where can i get the current issue of it ??
    thanks for the share..

  • MUILI IBRAHIM
    June 12, 2013

    pls where can get these electronics text books in Ngeria.

    • john
      June 12, 2013

      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.

  • MAC MACLEAN
    June 10, 2013

    how to power this transimeter

  • June 10, 2013

    hi good day do you have a book to how to assemble of transformer ur power supply…..thanks im christopher b.asoy of philippines my facebook. christopher borja asoy.

  • reza rezazade
    May 29, 2013

    i am iranian.
    your website is very intresting and useful .
    thanks alot .

  • Obi Agbor Michael
    May 27, 2013

    Please i am inneed of this books how can one have them from Cameroon thanks.

  • mostafa sh
    April 30, 2013

    HI
    my name is mostafa…(from iran)
    u help me on my problem,,,
    i just wanna say ‘THANK YOU’

  • harsh arora
    April 6, 2013

    Sir I need book on. Basic engineering. Discipline of ECE for barc on line exam

  • Abubakar Isa
    March 24, 2013

    I am really appreciated and want to be a registered member please.

  • February 2, 2013

    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.

    • john
      April 3, 2013

      Hi Sharanya,
      You can buy them from Amazon or Flipkart using the links given in article.

  • Anthony E Ekpe
    January 18, 2013

    I have seen all these books and i need them. How may i purchase them? I am from Nigeria, pls.

    • Obi Agbor Michael
      May 18, 2013

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

  • KATSINA MOLAND
    January 3, 2013

    WHEN I COME ACROSS SUCH DISCOVERIES TODAY, I REGRET WHY GOD CREATED ME IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD CALLED NIGERIA!! I AM A LEARNED TECHNICIAN BUT IM HEARING OF THIS BOOKS FOR MY VERY FIRST TIME. CAN ONE POST THEM TO ME? (+234)0-808-548-0470

    • Anish
      January 4, 2013

      Order it in ebay or amazon, they deliver it worldwide

  • December 2, 2012

    All these are great books

  • September 9, 2012

    very simple search on Google with free pdf

  • vignesh
    August 26, 2012

    i need ur help always in contact.pls…

  • August 15, 2012

    I need this books,if only two were to be mine.plz tell how we can get them?

  • Bala K Gushal
    August 10, 2012

    I need the four books mentioned

  • aftab
    July 15, 2012

    I need these books plz tell me how ??

  • Rajendrasinh
    July 14, 2012

    I need these books , how can i get them,Pls guide me.

    • jojo
      July 15, 2012

      You can buy them from Amazon or Flipkart using the links given in article.

  • July 13, 2012

    I need this book,how can i get this?plz help me

    • jojo
      July 13, 2012

      @vengadesh – your country plz ?

      • amir
        May 1, 2013

        iran country

  • lordebus
    July 3, 2012

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

  • V. Hari Hara Prasad
    June 2, 2012

    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.

    • jojo
      June 3, 2012

      @Hari Hara Prasad – Thanks a lot for that information

  • Mayango
    May 31, 2012

    I need these books , how can i get them!

  • May 24, 2012

    hello i need those books how can i get them i am in nigeria

    • naresh
      April 3, 2013

      come here

  • jocel
    May 3, 2012

    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 .

  • RICK
    May 2, 2012

    @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!!!

  • jojo
    April 19, 2012

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

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

  • April 11, 2012

    Quite a list and it was pretty informative.

  • RICK
    April 5, 2012

    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!!!

    • dharneesh
      April 8, 2013

      GROB- BASIC ELECTRONICS IS SIMPLY THE BEST BOOK FOR START UP Engineers.

      • June 17, 2013

        You Better believe it!!! Wise Choice My FRIEND!!!

        • September 30, 2013

          sir
          very nice website,very best books…
          sir i am daily visitor your website..
          thanks sir

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