5 Must-Read Books for JavaScript developers

“Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled “This could change your life.” - Helen Exley

This famous quote by Helen Exley probably is one of the reasons that at Simply we decided to make a list of top books that can change a life. :)

Following our previous article Top 5 must-read books for any software developer, here is a great list of 5 must-read books especially for JavaScript developers. This list is also formed on the basis of the most popular and loved books among Simply JavaScript experts.

So, whether you are just new in JavaScript or many years in the field, you should check out this list to make sure you read them. Let’s find out what books can make us stronger JS ninjas!

1. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan


If to talk about industry books, first, we always try to find the Bible one among them. Since 1996, JavaScript: The Definitive Guide has been the JavaScript bible for developers. It is a programmer's guide and comprehensive reference to the core language and to the client-side JavaScript APIs defined by web browsers.

During these years, the book was republished many times and it 6th edition covers HTML5 and ECMAScript 5. Many chapters have been completely rewritten to bring them in line with today's best web development practices.

"A must-have reference for expert JavaScript programmers...well-organized and detailed." -Brendan Eich, the Creator of JavaScript

New chapters in this edition document jQuery and server side JavaScript. It's recommended for experienced programmers who want to learn the programming language of the Web, and for current JavaScript programmers who want to master it.

2. You Don’t Know JS by Kyle Simpson


No matter how much experience you have with JavaScript, odds are you don’t fully understand the language.

"You Don’t Know JS" by Kyle Simpson is a series of books — all of them similar in style and scope, some of them bigger than others, and all of them very good.

Even if you have been programming in JavaScript for a long time and have studied multiple versions of the JavaScript specifications, and followed the development of new versions of the specification closely, yet Kyle’s deep fascination with exploring all the little nooks and crannies manages to uncover many bits of the language that you had not yet discovered or explored.

What you won’t find in this series is a lot of talk about software architecture, deep programmer wisdom, or an abundance of software design principles that will easily span many different languages. But it will certainly help you gain a new appreciation and a deeper understanding of JavaScript. Kyle’s singular focus on deep diving into language features is a unique treasure and it is one of the reasons that this book is listed in Top 5 JavaScript books our experts recommend.

3. The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript by Nicholas C. Zakas

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In The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript, Nicholas C. Zakas thoroughly explores JavaScript's object-oriented nature, revealing the language's unique implementation of inheritance and other key characteristics. You'll learn:

  • The difference between primitive and reference values

  • What makes JavaScript functions so unique

  • The various ways to create objects

  • How to define your own constructors

  • How to work with and understand prototypes Inheritance patterns for types and objects

The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript will leave even experienced developers with a deeper understanding of JavaScript. Unlock the secrets behind how objects work in JavaScript so you can write clearer, more flexible, and more efficient code.

4. JavaScript Patterns by Stoyan Stefanov

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What's the best approach for developing an application with JavaScript? This book helps you answer that question with numerous JavaScript coding patterns and best practices. If you're an experienced developer looking to solve problems related to objects, functions, inheritance, and other language-specific categories, the abstractions and code templates in this guide are ideal -- whether you're writing a client-side, server-side, or desktop application with JavaScript.

Written by JavaScript expert Stoyan Stefanov -- Senior Yahoo! Technical and architect of YSlow 2.0, the web page performance optimization tool -- JavaScript Patterns includes practical advice for implementing each pattern discussed, along with several hands-on examples.

Here’s what this book helps you to do:

  • Explore useful habits for writing high-quality JavaScript code, such as avoiding globals, using single var declarations, and more

  • Learn why literal notation patterns are simpler alternatives to constructor functions

  • Discover different ways to define a function in JavaScript

  • Create objects that go beyond the basic patterns of using object literals and constructor functions

  • Learn the options available for code reuse and inheritance in JavaScript

  • Study sample JavaScript approaches to common design patterns such as Singleton, Factory, Decorator, and more

  • Examine patterns that apply specifically to the client-side browser environment

You'll also learn about anti-patterns: common programming approaches that cause more problems than they solve. So this is another strong guide for you in the world of JavaScript.

5. Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja by John Resig and Bear Bibeault

Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja uses practical examples to clearly illustrate each core concept and technique. This completely revised edition shows you how to master key JavaScript concepts such as functions, closures, objects, prototypes, and promises. It covers APIs such as the DOM, events, and timers. You’ll discover best practice techniques such as testing, and cross-browser development, all taught from the perspective of skilled JavaScript practitioners.

This book is highly popular in Simply library and almost all of our developers read it and recommended. This can give you trust that you need to consider this book whenever have time for reading.


Books are a unique and very efficient tool of self-development and education. Every developer who wants to dive into a technology need to read professional books starting from the best ones. Though now the internet is full of many professional materials, whitepapers and articles, some you can find at our blog also, books remain their impactful role in our lives no matter we are a JavaScript ninja, hardware engineer or a system administrator.

Hope you find these books useful,

- Simply