The Python books I've written are available in both print and electronic formats from a variety of retailers around the world. Although this support site doesn't sell books directly, this page provides a handful of pointers on purchase options and resources, and addresses a few product-related FAQs.
On this page:
|Sources||Where to find the books|
|Code||Using book examples|
|Content||Choosing the right book|
|Quality||About book sources|
Update: as of 2020, readers are cautioned that my publisher's Safari online service will track and record your activity, and will by default sell your personal information as described here. Safari accounts may also be discontinued at any time, a fate recently threatened for customers' lifetime-access ebook libraries. Print books and ebooks are immune to both tracking and deletion, and are the recommended mediums for accessing my titles.
Update: as of early 2018, you can buy PDF and ePub versions of my books at eBooks.com—the source now recommended by my publisher's customer service.
Update: as of June 2017, my books' publisher no longer sells individual books on its own website. Instead, its book pages now emphasize online-only Safari subscriptions, and have a grudging link to Amazon for purchasing books. The publisher will still print books, and you can still buy its paper books and ebooks from the many sources below. This page's images now link to Amazon book pages accordingly. For more on this change, see the FAQ and discussion.
The publisher, O'Reilly Media, produces and distributes my titles in a variety of forms:
Though print is popular for my titles, both ebooks and Safari provide color images, and are searchable mediums that can serve as either complement or alternative to print.
For ebooks, PDF is a print-like format; ePub is a flexible device- and vendor-neutral option; and Mobi is designed for Kindle. (O'Reilly used to have more on using ebooks at a page formerly linked here, but it seems to have been culled in the push to online subscriptions.)
Although my publisher no longer sells its books directly, there are multiple retailers that do.
Some ebook vendors, including Google Play, provide both app-based reading and downloads of general PDF and ePub ebooks (though Google's PDF is custom). Others may offer more proprietary choices, and the usual caution about vendor lock-in applies: beware purchasing ebooks on devices designed to be media traps.
The Safari service also hosts my titles on the web, but its subscription model is really just a rental agreement; your books are yours there only as long as you pay the fee, and the service lasts (see the recent imperilment of customer ebook libraries). As noted in the 2020 update above, Safari also tracks your online actions and may sell your information. Print and ebook options provide much better control of your content and privacy.
For purchase sources, try one of the following table's links; the product links at the top of this page; or your favorite web-search provider (the web and the publishing world churn alike):
|Barnes & Noble||all books||LP5E||PP4E|
|Google Play||all books||LP5E||PP4E|
|Apple iTunes||all books||LP5E||PP4E|
|Safari online||all books||LP5E||PP4E|
|O'Reilly (Safari)||all books||LP5E||PP4E|
The publisher may also offer academic and bulk-purchase discount options; see its FAQ for pointers. See also these 2018 and 2017 notes about temporary inventory outages at Amazon.
Not mentioned on O'Reilly's ebooks page: If you wish to use ebooks to cut-and-paste code, note that some readers and formats may retain whitespace better than others. For example, both:
Also note that some characters may require manual replacement in code snippets due to non-ASCII formatting. Dashes, for instance, may have been changed in production to emdashes that can generate syntax errors. If cut-and-paste fails for you, fetch your book's examples distribution package (see this site's book pages).
That said, you should also expect to be writing some code manually very early in the learning process. It's an important part of mastering a language's syntax, and is required of anyone seeking to develop new software. Cutting and pasting code alone is not programming, despite what some resources may imply.
Be sure you're getting the book that makes sense for your goals. This is discussed on this site's book pages, but judging from recent emails from people confused about content, it's worth a few words here. In short:
The first two essentially work as a set. Learning's foundations topics span all application domains, and are assumed prerequisites to Programming's more advanced coverage. Programming in turn is meant as a follow-up to Learning, that moves on to apply the language in common domains and larger-scaled programs. Hence, as general guidelines:
Also note that Learning is not the next version of Programming, despite its higher edition number. There is no 5th Edition of Programming in the works, as it does not require an update. In addition, the Pocket Reference is designed to be a companion to the other two, though its current 260-page edition is a substantial reference text in its own right. For more on book scope, see the book pages listed above, and recent reader replies here and here. For more on future editions, see this page.
Although the books are published in English, their various editions have also been translated to at least a dozen other languages, including recent versions in Chinese, Russian, Polish, Korean, German, Italian, and Portuguese. For details, see the web, or O'Reilly's International offices. Some recent translations' book covers and sources (see the web for others):
Python Pocket Reference
|German||Python Pocket Reference||Source,
In closing, here are a few pointers related to book quality: