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The Best Java Books for All Skill Levels

Alex Vypirailenko

Java is becoming increasingly popular in different parts of the world. If you decide to start learning Java or improve your current skills, you’ll need good, clear, and concise literature to help. Among tons of online and offline resources, it is necessary to find the ones that will cope with the teaching mission the best.

In this article, we’ll present the best books to learn Java and other resources that will allow you to get started immediately.

Resources Available to Study Java

Due to the growing demand and need for experts with Java skills, learning Java has become a lot easier. Here are some of the popular options you can apply.

The Best Java Books for All Skill Levels

Tutorials, Blogs, Community forums

There are different online platforms with blog articles that will help you learn a new programming language. You can also take Java tutorials like the ones from Oracle if you want to learn all the Java Basics on your own, or ask the community for advice and read about other people's experience.


  • Free information: There's a lot of free info on the web that you can use, and these are only a few types


  • Can be outdated: Sometimes you may find an old article, or a new blog post may be based on the old data

  • No system: It's difficult to learn a programming language from scratch without a learning program that helps you move gradually from the basics

Online Courses

A very common and effective strategy that most Java learners use is starting with online courses. Fortunately, there are plenty of websites you can turn to, such as:

  • CodeGym — an engaging gamified Java learning platform

  • Codewars — online challenge game with many programming languages included

  • Codecademy — a web portal with a number of programming courses

  • Udemy — a famous online learning platform that also includes Java courses.

You’ll find different types of courses on these platforms, and you can start learning Java with them.


  • A solid skill: If you choose a comprehensive platform like CodeGym or some courses from Codeacademy, you might get a really solid skill that will be even better than some offline courses to start your career

  • May be taken online: It is a great advantage nowadays during the pandemic, you don't need to go anywhere.

  • Mentorship: Some courses offer feedback from an experienced mentor that might be a great boost during the learning process


  • Paid: Most of really good and comprehensive courses will be paid (but some of them are not expensive at all), just because they require other people's time and skill to create and update the content

Java books

There is a wide variety of books that are available on the market and can be used in learning Java. Some of them are written by reputable authors and are based on well-grounded ideas, which make Java books such a sound source of information.

While practicing to program is the most important thing in learning Java, it is really crucial to have a reliable source of information to base your practice on. Books are your best friends here. You can start your Java learning experience with them and always turn to them if there are any issues during the coding process.


  • Academic information: Unlike other available resources such as blogs, you can be sure that the information you’re getting is reliable and accurate if you take Java books from reputable authors and universities

  • Moving step-by-step: A book will help you move from basics to more advantaged skills and build a comprehensive understanding of the programming language

  • Cheap: Most books are really not expensive to buy and e-versions are available for even cheaper


  • Can be outdated: The books need to be reviewed and edited regularly

  • Can be difficult to read: In some cases, the books may not be easy to understand, and you might need further explanations

  • Lack of practice: Anyway, you'll need some practical tasks or gamified apps to sharpen your skills

Where to Find Java Books

Well, today there are many ways to get a book on any topic and Java is not an exception. If you want to buy good Java books, you can consider:

  • Amazon or eBay. These are huge platforms where you can find new and used books. Here you have different options to choose from, and you can be sure that you’ll find a book within your budget.

  • Mobile Applications. If you prefer reading on your mobile device, you can use applications that are designed for reading books. Here are examples of these applications: Amazon Kindle App, Google Play Books, Apple Books.

  • Online Bookstores/Libraries. You can also get Java books at online bookstores and libraries. They offer a wide range of new, used, rare, and out-print books. They are also available at different prices, and you can be sure that you’ll get what you want.

  • Traditional Bookstores/Libraries. Even with many online options, there are people who prefer hardcopy books. If you are one of those, you can find good books that will help you learn Java in traditional bookstores and libraries.

Top 5 Java Books

Now that we know the benefits of Java books, it’s time to find out which ones we recommend. We’ve prepared a list of 5 best books for all skill levels for you to begin or proceed with your online learning. Here they are:

  1. Effective Java. The book is a classic written by Joshua Block for developers who need a perspective shift. As a beginner Java programmer, you need this book because of all the practical guides collected inside. Its recent edition has been updated taking into account all the new Java features.

  2. Head First Java. Even though most people will tell you that this is outdated, it's one of the best Java books for programmers to understand the basics. The book was written by Bert Bates and Kathy Sierra

  3. Head First Design Patterns. This book will teach you ways of applying design patterns and solving problems. It is full of visual details, which makes the format easy to take up. The book was written by Eric Freeman.

  4. Java Concurrency in Practice. Written by Brian Goetz, this is also one of the best books for intermediate developers. It will help you understand multithreading and concurrency, the information that most sources lack.

  5. Java: A Beginner’s Guide. This book was written by Herbert Schildt for novices and student programmers. As the name suggests, it is a guide for beginners, and it has everything you need to start getting acquainted with Java. It also presents some advanced details for a more knowledgeable reader.


We have covered the different types of resources you can use and the best books to learn Java. You can select any of them on your personal preferences and convenience. However, our recommendation is to combine books with tutorials, courses, and articles. That way, you can get an excellent recipe to learn Java with ease.

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This article was published in May 2021

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