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The 5 Best Python Books for Beginners

There are lots of books for Python beginners out there. In this article, I’ll share the five that are most worth your time.

Online courses are the best source of Python knowledge. This does not mean, however, that you cannot enhance your learning with other resources. In this article, I will show you 5 Python books you should read. They will help you spread your wings in the field of coding and start thinking like a programmer.

Why Learn Python?

Python has become one of the dominant players in software engineering. It can be considered as an all-in-one programming language, one with lots of applications in many different domains.

Data science and Artificial Intelligence have been highly popular for quite a while now – and Python is by far the most preferred programming language in this domain. Almost every new tool comes with Python support.

With that being said, Python’s capabilities reach far beyond data science and Artificial Intelligence. It has a rich variety of applications in web development, mobile game development, and IoT. It is also a preferred programming language for tech giants like Google, YouTube, Netflix, IBM, Instagram, and Spotify. And you can imagine that performance is of vital importance to these companies.

Before we go any further, I want to point out one thing. At the time of writing this article, is offering free access to their Python Basics: Part 1 course. You can start learning Python for free – just log in and begin the course!

How to Learn Python

Python is a highly valuable skill, so it is definitely worth spending some time and effort to learn. One of the most important things in learning Python is consistency. Instead of having long studying sessions once or twice a month, it’s much more efficient to practice daily – even if it’s only for 30 minutes.

There are several ways to learn Python. The best method is interactive online courses, since learning a programming language requires lots of hands-on experience.  We offer several online courses and tracks that offer this hands-on experience. Our Python Basics: Practice course explains the basics clearly using many interactive exercises. We also offer tracks, or groups of courses that offer a structured and progressive learning experience. For instance, our Learn Programming with Python track consists of five interactive courses that cover the basics of Python, data structures, and algorithms.

Another way to learn Python is by reading books. However, books are best to use as a supplementary tool. This is because they usually cannot offer the hands-on experience you can get in an online course. But books certainly have their place if you want a comprehensive understanding of a topic or if you prefer to learn by reading.

However, if you choose to learn programming by reading a book, you must support it with coding practice. Understanding a concept in a programming language is quite different than actually being able to use it. While books help you understand a subject, interactive online courses are the best choice for putting your new knowledge into practice.

The 5 Best Python Books for Beginners

While curating this list, we kept our focus on beginners and those who do not have any prior programming experience. We also have a couple of other lists of Python books: The Best Python Books and The Best Python Books, Part 2.

Each book title is linked to its Amazon page so you can find it easily. It’s important to note that Amazon has had no impact on our selection, nor do we receive any compensation from linking to the Amazon listings.

1.   Python for Everybody: Exploring Data in Python 3

The 5 Best Python Books for Beginners

Python for Everybody was designed to introduce students to programming and software development in terms of exploring data. The book starts with a brief explanation on why you should learn to write programs, which is a motivation booster if you are a beginner and are having second thoughts about programming.

You will have the chance to learn about the built-in data structures as well as the fundamental programming tasks such as functions and conditional execution.

In addition to the basics of Python programming, this book covers some data analysis topics; this makes it a great choice if you plan to have a data-oriented career. It contains lots of exercises and examples of data analysis with Python.

2.   Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

The 5 Best Python Books for Beginners

The first edition of Think Python was written using Python 2, which has mostly been retired from active use. This is the second edition, and it uses the current version, Python 3.

This book can be considered as an introduction to Python programming for beginners. It starts with basic concepts of programming and follows a progressive path that covers the terms and concepts needed

More advanced topics such as recursion and object-oriented programming are divided into a sequence of smaller steps, which make them easier to understand for beginners. Trying to understand such complex topics in one sitting might be difficult and a motivation-breaker otherwise.

Another cool feature of this book is coding in the browser. When you first start to learn programming, setting up an environment might be a challenging task. The book provides instructions to use a free tool that lets you code Python in your browser without having to install anything.

3.   Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming

The 5 Best Python Books for Beginners

This book, an international bestseller, gives you a quick and easy-to-learn path – even if you don’t have any prior programming experience.

It begins with the basic concepts of variables, loops, and lists. Once you learn the basics, you are given three projects:

  • A 2D Space Invaders-style arcade game.
  • A set of responsive data visualizations you’ll build with the Python libraries Pygame, Matplotlib, Plotly, and Django.

A customized web app you can deploy online.

This book’s progressive path (complete with exercises) and three projects is a fun and exciting way to get started with Python. Completing a project is an important milestone when you’re learning a programming language. Moreover, building projects is a great motivation to keep learning.

4.   Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, 2nd Edition: Practical Programming for Total Beginners

The 5 Best Python Books for Beginners

Python is not only used for data science, web development, and game development; it’s also used to automate repetitive or tedious tasks. In a sense, it improves your daily work.

With the help of Python, you can easily automate things like organizing files in your computer, sending emails, merging and splitting PDFs, and updating Excel files. Automate the Boring Stuff with Python will teach you how to write programs that perform tasks in moments that would take hours to do by hand.

You don’t need to have any prior programming experience; this book has detailed, step-by-step instructions that walk you through each program.

5.   Python for Beginners: A Crash Course Guide to Learn Python in 1 Week

The 5 Best Python Books for Beginners

Python for Beginners is a fast and simple crash course. It’s a perfect fit for total beginners with zero programming experience and for people who have not written code in years. This book offers an easy way to learn Python in just 7 days.

There are thirteen chapters in the book. In the first two chapters, you will read a comprehensive background for Python and learn how to install it to your computer.

The subsequent chapters cover the basic topics of variables, loops, data structures, and classes.

After Reading a Python for Beginners Book …

Building your knowledge through books is a great step towards learning a decent level of Python and possibly launching a new career. Once you get your Python skills to a certain level, finding a Python job gets a lot easier.

And how much might this new career pay? The rates differ based on your location and skill level, but Python jobs are usually well paid. Read our article on Python Jobs and Salaries in 2022 for more info.

It is safe to say that there is a rich selection of Python jobs in tech and they are also highly rewarding. So why wait? Start learning Python today!