5 JavaScript Books Worth Every Cent

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest – Benjamin Franklin

The dynamic web is full of interactive ‘ajaxified’ websites and JavaScript is one of the most important pillars that goes into the construction of these websites. With JavaScript frameworks like jQuery, Prototype, Scriptaculous etc. becoming popular, it has become all the more important to learn and master JavaScript, to be able to use these frameworks effectively and efficiently. To learn a programming language, the simplest way in my opinion is to purchase a good book, read it, and then put the learning into practice, a lot of practice!

Here are 5 JavaScript books I strongly recommend if you are looking out to start client-side development and master it. This collection also contains some upcoming books I plan to purchase. I have categorized these books for Beginners as well as Intermediate-Advanced developers.


JavaScript Books For Beginners



DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model

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This book is the Get-Start-Go guide for beginners with a good introduction to JavaScript and DOM concepts. Full of clearly explained practical examples (dynamic image gallery, slideshow animations, sample site) that you can use on your website, this book gets you up to speed with JavaScript and DOM in no time. I personally loved Jeremy’s tone of writing as well the presentation of concepts, that makes JavaScript look so easy. Although this book was published a couple of years ago, I strongly recommend this book as an excellent starting point for beginners. Jeremy has also authored Bulletproof Ajax that you may want to check out.


Object-Oriented JavaScript: Create scalable, reusable high-quality JavaScript applications and libraries

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After you have read the DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model book and have gained some level of experience with it, you should consider picking up this book. The first 4 chapters in this book are introductory chapters. The book starts getting exciting Chapter 5 onwards with examples on how to write object-oriented JavaScript. In my opinion, Chapter 8 - Coding and Design Patterns is the best chapter in this book.

As a side note, FireBug comes very handy while reading this book. The hands-on approach demonstrated in this book to write Object Oriented JavaScript code and the usage of patterns, is a reason why I strongly recommend this book.


JavaScript Books For Intermediate-Advanced Developers



JavaScript: The Good Parts

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Douglas Crockford, as many of you already know, is a JavaScript champion and his advices on JavaScript is well known in the community, and when someone like him shares his knowledge through a book, you MUST buy it! This book is not for beginners, but for those who after a brush-up with the language and some hands-on experience, want to take their skills to the next level.

This book is to the point, well-written, sincere and does a great job of assessing the good and the bad of JavaScript. The parts where Crockford explains inheritance, invocation, scoping and closures are simply superb. If you are serious about learning JavaScript, you must have this book in your collection. Ever since I read his book, I changed the way I look at JavaScript!


JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: – 6th Edition

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Although this book has not yet been released as of this writing, I have David Flanagan’s previous edition – JavaScript The Definitive Guide (5th Edition) with me. The 5th Edition was a very popular JavaScript book, gave a deep understanding of JavaScript and was amongst my favorites.

There’s no reason for me to believe that the new one will not be as useful as the 5th edition and this one’s definitely going into my collection. From the O’Reilly site: The sixth edition offers comprehensive coverage of ECMAScript 5 (the new language standard) and also the new APIs introduced in HTML5. The chapters on functions and classes have been completely rewritten and updated to match current best practices. A new chapter covers language extensions and subsets.


Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja

JavaScript Ninja

I am a big fan of the creator/lead developer of jQuery and a JavaScript expert, John Resig. I remember purchasing his book Pro JavaScript Techniques way back in 2007 and this is one of the best JavaScript books I have read.

I am excited about the soon-to-be-released In Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja book. In this book, John reveals the inside know-how of the elite JavaScript programmers. Written to be accessible to JavaScript developers with intermediate-level skills, this book gives you the knowledge you need to create a cross-browser JavaScript library from the ground up.


I hope you liked these JavaScript book recommendations. If you are serious about doing some solid client-side development, I would strongly recommend you to invest in these books!



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About The Author

Suprotim Agarwal
Suprotim Agarwal, ASP.NET Architecture MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) works as an Architect Consultant and provides consultancy on how to design and develop Web applications.

Suprotim is also the founder and primary contributor to DevCurry, DotNetCurry and SQLServerCurry. He is the Editor of a Developer Magazine called DNC Magazine. He has also written two EBooks 51 Recipes using jQuery with ASP.NET Controls. and The Absolutely Awesome jQuery CookBook

Follow him on twitter @suprotimagarwal

12 comments:

Alejandro said...

Nice post, I would also add "Head First JavaScript". It's explained in a fun and non-technical kind of way. It is also very good for beginners. Definitely a keeper.

Anonymous said...

JavaScript the good parts is excellent. I was at first confused about the flowchart diagrams, they would be more effective in color, but they make understanding the concepts very apparent.

Too bad the JavaScript Ninja book has a Samurai on the cover. I'm looking forward to John's book though; hopefully with a more accurate cover.

Marko said...

Yes it's good to learn that Resig is coming out with a new book. I thought of purchasing the early access first, but I think I will wait till they rectify that cover - looks like its creative team thinks Ninja and Samurai are the same ROFL

Anonymous said...

Oh, didn’t you know? You can’t see a ninja!

Carlos said...

I like the ppk's book. Its clear and easy to read with a focus on cross browsing script.

Anonymous said...

I found "Simply Javascript" from Sitepoint to be the best beginner's Javascript book. For non-beginners, "Javascript - The Good Parts", which you've mentioned, should be #1 on the reading list IMHO. "PPK on Javascript" is a very interesting and "different" book.

Suprotim Agarwal said...

Thank your for the suggestions! I have not yet read PPK on JavaScript, although I plan to check it out

Stela James said...

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Javascript Examples said...

that's all cool js ebook, thank you very much for sharing.

You can read more JS book from my list, Top 10 Best JavaScript eBooks that Beginners should Learn

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