What is the best book to start learning about electronics?

Thread Starter

Mooney117

Joined May 27, 2020
10
I'm 15 and want to start learning electronics but I don't know what the best book is for beginners. I have read suggestions on other sites and there are 2 books that keep coming up. "The Art of Electronics" and "Practical Electronics for Inventors". What would be the best out of these two? Or if it's neither of these, what would be the best one?

Thanks
 

Marc Sugrue

Joined Jan 19, 2018
212
Electronics - A First Course by Owen Bishop is a good introduction to electronics at a easy to understand level. Targeted at the beginner is varied and mixes descriptive text with very light mathmatics introducing the basic laws etc..

Start there and esculate to the Art later. Its a great book BUT not a place to start IMO
 

upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
760
"Mastering Electronics" by John Watson is pretty good. This has more depth than the following two...

"Starting Electronics" by Keith Brindley is good for real beginners, but you'll want something after it.

"Getting Started in Electronics" by Forrest Mims is a book that *many* kids have started with.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,290
Forrest Mims is an excellent beginners electronics author that you should definitely look up. But here's a little advice: The best way to stay motivated is to actually build small circuits that increase in their level of complexity... one at a time. If that hooks you up, then you're in for a lifetime of never ending satisfying fun and constant learning that always leads to personal and professional satisfaction.

Stick around this place, there's plenty of qualified people that are willing to give you their valuable time to try and help you out.
 

bwilliams60

Joined Nov 18, 2012
1,386
I am all in on Forrest Mims book. I still have an original copy from Radio Shack and it is old and yellow but I still pick it up every now and then and leaf through it. Very light reading.
Although there are some flaws in it, Electronics for Dummies is also a good light read to go through basics.
 
Last edited:

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,157
I'm 15 and want to start learning electronics but I don't know what the best book is for beginners. I have read suggestions on other sites and there are 2 books that keep coming up. "The Art of Electronics" and "Practical Electronics for Inventors". What would be the best out of these two? Or if it's neither of these, what would be the best one?

Thanks
My suggestion is to step back and start to learn about electrical science a bit before jumping directly into a technology like electronics. Most beginner electronics books to have a chapter on charge but not much more. The more you know about electricity as a physical process the easier understanding of electronics.

https://www.physicsclassroom.com/cl...on-Misconceptions-Regarding-Electric-Circuits
http://amasci.com/miscon/elect.html
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,151
Start out with something relevant to your current interest. When I was your age my main reference was the American Radio Relay League "The ARRL Radio Amature Handbook" (ARRL Handbooks) because I was most interested in radio at the time.

When I found work in an electronics company I found I could subscribe to magazines aimed at professionals like EDN Magazine and Electronic Design and often the advertising was as educational as the technical articles. At first I did not understand the technical terms being used but with continual reading the meanings managed to seep in. This also worked in the area of electro-optics and come to think of it, radio. Keep reading whatever material you come across that is interesting to you. Don't stick to one book because having more than one point of view will give you a more solid understanding.

When you get to college you will get more formal training (not that many years from now) and all of a sudden light bulbs will start to come on -"Ahhh...that's why they did that!"
 

upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
760
For your age I'd really recommend the snap-circuit series of stuff. There are some basic explanations of what all of the discrete parts do, and if you're having fun, you can dig deeper, but even with a few of the kits, you can build a AM and/or FM receiver.

https://shop.elenco.com/consumers/brands/snap-circuits.html?filter_by=30
No offense, but that is too childish for a 15 y/o. I'm pretty sure I had a Radio Shack 150-in-1 kit by the time I was 7. Lots more flexibility. When I was building plastic models as a kid I even hated the "snap together" kits that started appearing, as they didn't require any glue and didn't develop any skills. Let's not sell not-yet-fully-developed humans short; they're capable of a lot.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,055
My thoughts too. Before COVID my school was planning to equip Physics labs with similar concepts but costing 10 times more.
What a senseless waste of time and money!
 

tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
769
No offense, but that is too childish for a 15 y/o. I'm pretty sure I had a Radio Shack 150-in-1 kit by the time I was 7. Lots more flexibility. When I was building plastic models as a kid I even hated the "snap together" kits that started appearing, as they didn't require any glue and didn't develop any skills. Let's not sell not-yet-fully-developed humans short; they're capable of a lot.
Instead of just flaming me, do you have a better suggestion?

Snap circuits are ~150-in-1 kits with a lot of flexibility without the need to have a lot of $. Lots of info regarding how the circuits work. They start easy and get gradually more complex. I maintain that it's a well laid out beginning electronics kit - for beginners of all ages to understand simple electronics.

@DickCappels why did you bring this post back from the ashes? After 4 months I doubt the TS is still interested.
 

upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
760
150-in-1 kits are available on eBay. 15 y/o's are certainly capable of using breadboards. I've shown 10-12 y/o's how to solder real circuits. Only one grabbed the wrong end of the iron. hehe
 

CAB55

Joined Nov 24, 2020
21
I'm 15 and want to start learning electronics but I don't know what the best book is for beginners. I have read suggestions on other sites and there are 2 books that keep coming up. "The Art of Electronics" and "Practical Electronics for Inventors". What would be the best out of these two? Or if it's neither of these, what would be the best one?

Thanks
I am also a big beginner though much older than you. You might want to try Sparkfun.com. They have proven to be an incredible resource of electronic terminologies packed with fun videos and tutorials. They will point you in the direction of some fun projects as well. They do a great job of recommending suggested topics prior to exploring something more advanced. I think you’ll enjoy it.
 
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