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I need basic electronics books (diodes,transistors,current.. etc) as I am just starting out with electronics and want to have something to read over the holiday.

Any suggestions of good beginners' books?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Great question, very characteristic of the SO question along the same lines. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 13, 2011 at 22:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is our one question for listing great electronics books, let there be no other. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    May 24, 2012 at 16:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Before reading about electronics, get a physics book (higschool senior or university first year level) which has chapters on electricity and magnetism. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kaz
    Sep 30, 2012 at 5:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kaz, I might disagree with you. My highschool books, told me how electricity and magnetism work, but not how to really use through the use of components. Given that he wants to learn and probably "do" something, a highschool book would just be a bore until hes really serious about learning it. \$\endgroup\$
    – efox29
    Mar 13, 2013 at 5:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MDMoore313 I agree but only to get a complete understanding of it. If i recall correctly, my hs textbooks didn't give me enough to really do anything with it. I understood that current flowing through a conductor creates a magnetic field etc, but it wasn't enough for me to really do anything at that age. My books didnt talk about LEDs or diodes, and you dont need to understand magnetism to use a diode. It depends on what the OP wants to accomplish - Learn how, and do it. Or do it, and learn why. \$\endgroup\$
    – efox29
    Mar 14, 2013 at 21:21

38 Answers 38

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I think that good choice is to attend courses on coursera.org, it's a way easier and for me better than to cross book with 1000 and more pages.

Here are some courses I attended:

https://www.coursera.org/course/introtoelectronics

https://www.coursera.org/course/digitalsystems

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I started with this one, it contains many datasheets and numbered IC connectors.

Practical Electronics 2012

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry, but that book is pretty weak. Poorly organized, missing or incomplete sections (like an explanation of how transistors work!), random digressions… \$\endgroup\$
    – user39382
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:07
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I started of with "Electronic Devices and Circuit theory" by Boylestad and Nashelski and found it quite impressive with its perfect blend of concepts and up-to-date technology, so I would suggest you the same.

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My coursebook was Basic Electronics by Bernard Grob. I think it's an excellent reference and covers electronics basics very thoroughly. (I had 6th edition in my class; it is currently at 11th edition.)

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I'm not sure what level you want to be learning at, whether seriously or just for fun, but if you want to get a taste of electronics, consider the Evil Genius Series of books.

They have fun projects that you can do at home with stuff you can find at some of your local stores or even online. They explain how it works, just for you to get the basics of it, which I think would be great for you.

If you start to develop a taste for electronics and want to really know more, then start going into the more technical and "mathy" books that really explain how you can move electrons around.

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We used Electronics: A systems Approach by Neil Storey. It starts with a nice intuitive explanation of what a circuit is and covers more than basics, in an easy to read way.

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CMOS Circuit Design, Layout, and Simulation, Third Edition. R.J. Baker.

Can be bought at Amazon or downloaded for free legally from researchgate.

Examples in the book have schematics in LTSpice so that one can simulate quickly all the material. All problems are with solutions.

Great for self-study. Most of what I know in Electronics is from this book.

Mr. Baker is an editor in chief of an IEEE magazine on electronics.

There is a "support" web-site for the book cmosedu.com

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The Amateur radio handbook by the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) is also a good resource as well. It covers basic electronics, AC,DC, as well as receiver and transmitter design. It covers extensively the theoretic and practical aspects in great detail. It even goes on about antenna theory and design. I highly recommend it. After reading it you either become inspired to be an electrical engineer or a Amateur Radio Operator or both. I have been a radio operator for 23 years.

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