15 Books Every JavaScript Developer Should Read

Books that would give a complete and comprehensive understanding of any programming language don’t exist. First, so much information can’t be put in one book. Second, knowing the language means understanding its structure and methodology, and not learning the lines of code and commands.

That’s why we put together a list of 15 recommended JavaScript books which are aimed at a practical approach to programming. Learning JavaScript will become much easier if you check them out.

The reasons to learn JavaScript

JavaScript is the best friend of HTML and CSS. HTML defines the markup of the site, while CSS is responsible for the look and feel, and JavaScript all makes everything work. Using JavaScript code, the programmer determines how the page reacts to user actions.

Now JavaScript is the only programming language for browsers. It works with Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile platforms. If you don’t know JavaScript, forget about interactive sites programming.

Why JavaScript?

Starting with JavaScript is a good ideal because it’s syntactically similar to C language. After mastering JavaScript, you’ll get a basic understanding of C ++, C #, Java, and PHP. They set the trend in their areas and are very popular, so it’s important for a beginner to get acquainted with the syntax of C.

TOP books for JavaScript developers

Here are the best advanced JavaScript books in three categories: basic, advanced, and frameworks/libraries.


Eloquent JavaScript, by Marijn Haverbecke

This is a quick and comprehensive guide that will help you start using JavaScript. The individual chapters are devoted to DOM, the browser model, and the nature of HTTP requests.

The Book of JavaScript, 2nd Edition, by Dave Thau

This is a more in-depth guide. The book is focused only on JavaScript and AJAX. If your goal is JavaScript and AJAX, this book will answer all your questions.

Thinking in Java, by Bruce Eckel

Another good book to learn JavaScript. This is an excellent guide to programming in Java. The book is equally useful for beginners and those who already code.

The Java programming language, by Ken Arnold, James Gosling

This one can be both a Java tutorial and reference book, depending on how you read it. The manual contains exercises for practice that will allow you to quickly understand the specifics of programming.

Learning Java, by Patrick Niemeyer, Daniel Leuck

This is a comprehensive guide to JavaScript for beginning web developers, novice programmers, and hackers.


JavaScript, The Definitive Guide, 6th Ed. by David Flanagan

This book contains a complete description of the language. On more than 1000 pages, the author describes each aspect of the language and client web applications. Each section considers the smallest details.

Effective JavaScript, by David Herman

This is another JavaScript web development book every developer should have at hand. It contains important and useful recommendations for using the language.

JavaScript Patterns, by Stoyan Stefanov

All languages have corresponding patterns that help design a simple and unified solution. This extremely useful book tells about the patterns applicable in JavaScript.

JavaScript: The Good Parts, by Douglas Crockford

As you read this book and acquire the useful skills it contains, you’ll forget about the bad practices and techniques you’ve been using previously.

High-Performance JavaScript, by Nicholas Zakas

This book addresses the issues of productivity. Here the bottlenecks of performance are described in detail, as well as a number of recommendations on how to minimize their impact.

Frameworks and libraries

jQuery, jQuery UI, and jQuery Mobile, by Adriaan de Jonge and Phil Dutson

The book contains tips for using the jQuery framework to address common problems for web applications and mobile applications.

Murach’s JavaScript and JQuery, by Zak Rubalcaba and Mike Murach

This is another book of tips for using jQuery. Each page solves a specific problem and illustrates how to use jQuery in this situation.

React: Up and Running, by Stoyan Stefanov

The book is devoted to studying React from the position of a web developer. This allows you to focus on learning React without being distracted by the new syntax or the use of additional tools.

ng-book, by Ari Lerner

In this book, the author explains the best practices that you need when developing on Angular2. Here, you’ll find real examples with source code explaining how it works.

Discover Meteor, by Sacha Greif and Tom Coleman

14 main chapters and 11 explanatory ones introduce you to the world of Meteor. Meteor is a full-fledged framework with its own separate universe of plug-in packages called Atmosphere.

Tips for choosing a book

Below are three major tips for helping you decide which JavaScript developer books should be included into your collection.

Determine the aspects you want to learn

It’s the main step in choosing the right book. Web design is a pretty complicated subject, so there are no books that cover it completely. Most of them focus on particular aspects. In other words, each book focuses on its own matter, and you need to determine what knowledge you need at this point.

Pay attention to the publication date

Each programming language undergoes constant changes. That’s why the information presented even in those books that were published not so long ago loses its value or simply becomes outdated. Sometimes, books published about four or five years ago are probably no longer relevant. Sure, some basic rules and facts will never lose their importance. Besides, many books for JavaScript developers get updated editions. Anyway, before buying the book, be sure to check the date it was published.

Read reviews first

The best way to find out if the book is still relevant and contains the info you’re looking for is to read what others think about it. Once you read the reviews, you’ll know what to expect from the title. But you should use the reviews only to assess the quality of the book, and they shouldn’t become the decisive factor for you.

Tips how to learn from a JavaScript book

Combine theory and practice

When you want to learn something, you read the info about it twice or more. You keep reading it until you learn it by heart. But even the best JS books won’t guarantee you the best result, and there are other effective ways to make the information stay inside your head. You need to begin using your new knowledge in practice right away. There’s no better way to learn how to code than coding itself.

More practice

It’s impossible to learn something properly without practice. And repeating everything you read about once or twice isn’t enough. Of course, you can spend as much time as you want playing with one or two commands, but once you understand them, you need to move forward. If you keep practicing only those things you already learned, you won’t master JavaScript.

In conclusion

There are a lot of good JavaScript books that will significantly improve your skills, but they won’t give you one important thing – a discipline. If you want to get the best of these titles, you need to mix your new knowledge with practice. No one will help you with this task. But such a great language as JavaScript is worth putting all your effort into it.