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Best JavaScript Books Recommended by Railsware

In the era of epidemic computerization and digitalization, a book in an accustomed meaning of the word became an out-of-date notion. Today, users prefer reading electronic versions that correspond to the current industrial revolution. However, the avail of the said sources of information is on the same level as in previous centuries. People seek for knowledge and other people share this treasure with seekers.

Best books to learn JS
The topic to be reviewed in the following text relates to one of the most popular programming languages for creating web apps. Its name is JavaScript. A description of the language essence in simple words stipulates the implementation of complex things on web pages. Static information can do without JS. However, if you need to attach some animated graphics, an interactive map, a video jukebox or other corresponding element, knowledge of the said language is required.

Sources to Glean the Knowledge

A way to some practical undertakings begins with a theoretical background. Such bundle of knowledge is later applied in practice. Naturally, any practical experience foresees a subsequent learning of versatile tricks and pitfalls. Nevertheless, the background is a prerequisite for a successful activity.

When we talk about JS learning, the number of books dedicated to this language is impressive. Amazon, the largest book-selling platform in the world, does not require any introduction since anyone knows that name. So, if you search for books on the said topic, you will be surprised to reveal over 2,000 items. It is a decent figure for the language with a more than 20 years history. Obviously, one can find JavaScript books for beginners, as well as experienced users. Nevertheless, searching for the best solution among over two thousand versions resembles looking for a needle in a haystack. For this reason, Railsware has prepared a list of certain sources that will be of service in your endeavors to learn JS.

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Activate Your Web Pages (Definitive Guides)


David Flanagan

O’Reilly Media, 2011

Unless the word “JavaScript” placed on the title page, the readers could think that this publication is dedicated to a certain category of zoology that researches rhinos. However, do not worry since this source of knowledge is really worthful. The book provides over one thousand pages filled with text discovering various aspects of the language and client-side Web apps. Chapters are dedicated to introducing certain essential subjects like scripted media and graphics, jQuery library and others. At the close, readers get a valuable bonus represented by a reference in Core Java and the attachment covering client-side JS. The work was released by the O’Reilly publisher six years ago. David Flanagan, the writer, has mingled in the programmer’s society for 20 years. Such an abundant experience let him introduce JS in an absolutely atypical perspective.

This source is a good example of JavaScript books for programmers. Moreover, a tutorial form of the text allows focusing on required points and extracting the core information from a certain chapter. The final (sixth) issue of this reservoir of knowledge includes also topics on ECMAScript 5 plus HTML5. Ultimately, it should be stated that an abundance of practical tasks scattered across the publication would facilitate the educative process.

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript. The new tech-assisted approach that requires half the effort

Myers JS Book

Mark Myers

Self-published, 2014

Unlike the previous reference, this representative of JS books is aimed at fresh audience namely those who just began to plunge into the world of the said programming language. The author, Mark Myers, used to be in shoes of his target audience because he had experienced troubles with learning this stuff several years ago. He says that coding is not as hard as it is shown in the books. The quality of teaching sources was so frustrating that a decision to make own tutorial came per se. According to Mark, two major problems inherent to most books dedicated to the programming language were eliminated. These problems include a retention and comprehension. As a result, an innovative approach to learning and practicing was implemented and came out in 2014.

However, there is no better praise of work than the opinion of readers. If you look at feedback on Amazon and other relevant websites, you will see a true success of the publication among users aimed to learn JavaScript. Readers appreciate an abundance of practical tasks to comprehend the material delivered in small but substantial chapters.

Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript (Effective Software Development Series)

Herman JS Books

David Herman

Addison-Wesley, 2012

Meet another option for those who possess basic skills and strive to reach the depth of the subject. Therefore, being a JS programmer, you are likely to appreciate this creation by David Herman, who can boast of more than 20 printed works. Actually, there is an edition of books dedicated to versatile software languages. This JS publication continues the tradition of giving knowledge to people. The mentioned 68 ways for harnessing the language include hidden pitfalls, design patterns, and guidelines for dealing with objects, functions, arrays, library and API design, concurrency etc. An innovative approach includes an explanation of not only recommended practices but also troubles caused by improper activity. Moreover, be prepared to test comprehended knowledge by focusing on bullet points provided at the end of each chapter. A convincing bonus is provided just in the beginning of the book. The JS creator, Brendan Eich, gives his praiseful opinion about this work released in 2012 by the Addison-Wesley Publisher. Some readers note that the focus on ES5 in the tutorial is a disadvantage. Nevertheless, despite major update of JS from the fifth edition to sixth in 2015, it’s important to be proficient in ES5 to comprehend the language fundamentals and be able to work with legacy code. On this account, be sure to discover something new for own background of JS skills.

Eloquent JavaScript, 2nd Ed.: A Modern Introduction to Programming

Haverbeke JS Books

Marijn Haverbeke

O’Reilly Media, 2011

It is not a problem that you see the word of JavaScript for the first time and possess no basic relevant knowledge. This work of art in the list of JavaScript books is made particularly for first-timers. On this account, a reader expects a gradual overview of the language in a substantial yet entertaining way. This almost 200-pages source of knowledge will explain the idea of browser model, the DOM, and other fundamental features and concepts of the language to the readers.

Three sections of the creation by Marijn Haverbeke (a polyglot of machine languages and pluralistically the author) cover the information about JS, its usage in the browser, and the overview of Node.js. Do not be afraid to miss anything since all material is supported by practical exercises for the better comprehension. Similar to the above-mentioned reference, Eloquent JavaScript published by O’Reilly in 2011 gives much prominence to ECMAScript 5 while the sixth edition is undervalued.

In short, the publication represents a highly readable way to convert yourself from a noob into a sort of pundit in the language.

The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript

Zakas JS Book

Nicholas C. Zakas

No Starch Press, 2014

Judging from the title, the publication is clearly not the choice for a novice. Indeed, the target audience is represented by experienced JS engineers and software specialists willing to discover unexplored facets of the said language. The material aims to reassure the readers that JS is a no less object-oriented language than C++ or Java. Teaching purposes include the definition of constructors, differentiation between primitive and master values, understanding of prototypes and their use, as well as other useful skills.

The author of the work, Nicholas C. Zakas, can boast of five years of unforgettable experience at Yahoo! All his views and skills found expression in the book released in 2014. Six chapters placed on 120 pages will be a decent supplement to your substantial bundle of knowledge. So, if you feel that some deficiency in your skills needs to be filled, this publication will accomplish the task.


This term was already mentioned in the present article. Some readers complained that certain publications focus on the fifth version of this scripting language against the newer ones. Naturally, everyone is entitled to have own opinion on whether ES5 is an outdated edition or not. The edition number 6, also known as ECMAScript 2015, is deemed a key update of the language since the syntax novelties and miscellaneous features (binary data, arrow functions, number and math enhancements, collections, typed arrays, promises, reflection etc.) were added. At the same time, the 6th edition was followed by the 7th one, which, in turn, was followed by the latest ECMAScript 2017. If you suppose that ECMAScript 2015 deserves your special attention for sifting and comprehending JavaScript, the following work is the adequate option.

Understanding ECMAScript 6: The Definitive Guide for JavaScript Developers


Nicholas C. Zakas

No Starch Press, 2016

Another work by Mr. Zakas was previously introduced in the present recommendation of the best JavaScript books. It was he to describe JS principles of object orientation. The publication dedicated to ES6 is a rather fresh edition since it came out in 2016. It discovers fundamental changes and updates experienced by the core of JS. The audience can enjoy a substantial handbook to alternations transmitted from ECMAScript 2015 to JS. Each novelty and new peculiarities will be observed in action because chapters contain code examples. Your acquaintance with this work will lead to accumulation of information related to the usefulness of iterators and generators, the power of inheritance, syntax in ES6, and differentiation between regular and arrow functions etc. Experienced engineers state that things introduced in the publication are necessary to work in JS.

Last but not Least

Simpson JS Books

Kyle Simpson

O’Reilly Media, 2015

It is difficult to find a man who would be more involved in JavaScript than Mr. Kyle Simpson is. He is an author of a series of popular and effective books dedicated to specific areas of the language. This set is known under the name “You Don’t Know JS” and counts 7 different publications. Moreover, Kyle acts as a co-author of “HTML5 Cookbook” and “JavaScript and HTML5 Now”.

As for the books related to JS, they are accepted well by the readers and considered as a proper way to plunge into the depth of the language. The guide by David Flanagan is a serious dip in lurking places of JavaScript. Nevertheless, works by Simpson discover new horizons in exploring little twists and turns of this subject.

Similar to any profound approach, books are packed with practical examples, software architecture, software design principles, and a lot of programmer wisdom. The JS core is not neglected either. Hence, you can learn Kyle’s view on the development of ECMAScript from the 6th edition.


There is no assurance that any of the above-mentioned printed works is a fit to requirements or needs of a certain user. The developer’s society offers many other options of literature to utilize for learning fundamentals and peculiarities of the described software language. Anyhow, the driving force is not the source of information but the desire to join the cohort of JS engineers and achieve high results.

P.S. In case you also learn or want to improve your knowledge of Ruby on Rails web development, here is a list of top online courses and tutorials to help in your endeavors.