Getting Started in Electronics? Read These!

Someone in the Hackster feed asked what books they should check out, “before getting [their] hands dirty” with DIY hardware.

While my immediate reaction is that you learn best by getting your hands dirty, for the book-lovers, here are the top three time-proven texts.

  1. Getting Started in Electronics and the Engineer’s Mini Notebooks (Forrest M. Mims III). Homegrown, approachable books that inspired Star Simpson’s Circuit Classics boards, these include hand-drawn schematics for all kinds of circuits. They cover loads of common builds, with examples that won’t go out of style, for plenty of topics from sensors to amplifiers.
  2. Another one that won’t go obsolete anytime soon, The Art of Electronics (Horowitz & Hill) is on its third edition. This generous tome has everything you need to know about circuit design: broad overviews and deep, deep rabbitholes of detail. One to get lost in.
  3. Make:’s guide to Electronics (Charles Platt) — and more. Make: Magazine put out a very friendly, accessible guide including tons of projects, and it’s on its second edition. Hands-on examples with colorful photos engage kids and distractable grown-ups alike. Best of all, you can set your own price for this comprehensive book plus loads of topic-specific books, as long as this Humble Bundle deal is going. Get them all as PDFs, and you won’t have to worry about your budget, your bookshelves, or your back. Plus, you can choose how the money is split between several worthy causes!

Still feeling a little lost? My Hackster 101 series is designed to help you figure out where to begin. We digest the most common components for different types of projects, as well as my favorite Arduino-compatible boards for home automation and other applications, so you’ll know exactly what you need for your own project.

And finally, of course, you can sort for beginner projects on any platform (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, and anything else on Hackster).

Happy hacking!

DIY robots, music, EEG, wearables, languages. FIRST alumna. Hardware Nerd @hacksterio. She/her