Saturday, March 25, 2023

10 Best C Programming books for Beginners & Advanced Programmers

Being a new kid on the block always feels a little intimidating, and the same goes for the student who just came to the college to do a computer science course. Programming with time becomes easier, as you find common elements across different programming languages. But it’s the beginning where things get a little messy.

As a computer science student, you must know how to code. But if you are not able to find your way with programming, then computer science is not the stream of your calling. However, if you think you are interested in learning programming, then the best way to start your journey is to learn the C programming language. It is one of the easiest languages, which can make a computer do almost whatever you want.

Has that piqued your curiosity? Read on, as we take you through some of the best books to learn C programming, easily and quickly. So let’s get started. But before that, let’s discuss what C programming is all about and why it matters.

What is C Programming?

C is one of the most flexible languages, which is machine-independent and associated with the UNIX operating system. You are free to use C to write an application, which speaks for its popularity. As of now, C is being used by many of the operating systems in one way or the other. The latest addition is the upcoming Windows 11, which was released on 28 June 2021.

Why Should You Learn C Programming?

Even if you are a trained programmer, having some knowledge of C programming is beneficial. It can help you go a long way in creating applications.

  • C is structured programming, which means the programs have separate modules. When working on a big project, you and other team members can work on separate modules.
  • The module system makes it easier for you to debug the code. You can run the specific modules and test them out to see if they are working even when you introduce an exception into them.
  • C also has 32 keywords, along with various data types, and a set of powerful built-in functions. That allows the application to be efficient.
  • C can extend itself. You can find many functions stored in its library. A user can also add some functions and features to the library. Once added, you can easily retrieve them anytime.
  • C is a portable language. That’s perhaps why even your Android operating system developed by Google uses the C programming language.

Benefits of Learning C

Let’s learn why C is an advantage for any programmer.

Powerful and Efficient:

C is quite powerful and, with time, along with the number of implementations, gets even more efficient. The efficiency of C makes it possible for the developers to write down the efficient code, which improves the runtime performance of a user. Moreover, in the writing of the code, there are no pointers or even any abstract concepts involved. A user doesn’t have to think about memory allocation.

Built-in Functions

C comes with many built-in functions, which allows the programmers to have an easier syntax. A developer who didn’t initially design the code can easily understand what is written and what the different modules are used for. There are tons of other functions and libraries to provide function calls. This ensures that the developer only focuses on developing the application and nothing else.


C is an open-source language. The code used to develop the language when it was written is still present in the public repository, and everyone has access to it. On the other hand, a developer can create a library of their own and make it available for the other developers to use it.

7 Best Books On C Programming

We have curated a list of the 7 best C programming books that are currently available in the market. Buy them online or from your nearest bookstore, the choice is yours.

1. C Programming: Absolute Beginner’s Guide by Greg Perry and Dean Miller

C Programming Absolute Beginner's Guide

Well, starting our list with the best in the field right now, we have C Programming. It is a book for everyone, but beginners could gain the maximum out of it.

The book is fun to read and easy to understand. The concepts are easy to grasp, thanks to a simple language and gripping format. The instructions will surely help you in making the best of the C code, which can also come in handy when you are trying to make your first video game or a mobile app.

You can buy this book from here.

2. The C Programming Language 2nd Edition by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie

C Programming Language, 2nd Edition

The book was published almost four decades ago and is still relevant today. For a lot of people, this book got them hooked on programming. The book has 32 chapters, each providing the basic knowledge of C programming. Each concept is well written and elaborated with great examples. You will be able to implement the examples on your own when writing a program.

Some might find this book a bit fast-paced, as the concepts and the theoretical part are not much elaborated on. It goes straight to the coding part and deals with it in exceptional detail. After all, coding is all about practical implementation. No matter how many times you have read about the concept, you need to use it in your code to see how it works.

You can buy this book from here.

3. C: The Complete Reference by Herbert Schildt

Java 2 The Complete Reference, 3rd Edition

This book is the 4th edition and is one of the ideal C++ references. What you are getting from this book is the C basics as the subset of C++. There are tons of C++ and C examples that will make the reader understand where they can use the concept in their code. But here’s a thing, we strongly recommend you to get a reference book for C along with this one.

This book is better than your teachers, and we are serious about it. The examples given in this book dive deep and explain every single part of the code that is written to help students find the pattern which is present in the C coding and allows them to remember the syntax.

You can buy this book from here.

4. Step-by-Step Learners: C Programming in Easy Steps by Mike McGrath

C Programming in easy steps

For anyone who wants to start their journey of learning the C language, this is the right choice. The very first chapter tells you about how to download C from the Internet and then install it on your computer. With each chapter, you will get the knowledge of C. Also, you will be getting screenshots of the examples which are present in the book. We would recommend this book for novice programmers who don’t have any knowledge of writing code at all.

By the end of this book, you will have gained a much better understanding of the C language and will be able to write in C programming on your own.

You can buy this book from here.

5. Expert C Programming: Deep Secrets by Peter Van Der Linden

Expert C Programming Deep C Secrets

This book is for those people and students who have gained a bit of knowledge about C programming. We are not recommending this book for complete beginners because this one has some concepts of programming that a newcomer won’t be able to understand if the basics are not clear.

On the other hand, this book gives you a scan of the sections, which you can easily go through if you are in urgent need of them. It has tons of coding techniques, shortcuts, and tips that will be helpful for an individual who has in-depth knowledge. Besides, we recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the implementation of C in the practical world.

You can buy this book from here.

6. C++ Primer (5th Edition) by Stanley B Lippman, Josee Lajoie, and Barbara E Moo

C++ Primer (5th Edition)

According to many great developers who are in the field of computer science, this book is considered to be the best way to introduce a student to the concepts of C. This book is a study tool not just for beginners but also for all levels of programmers who want to learn something new about the language.

To start with this book, you only need a basic understanding of what C programming is. Once the basic concepts have been provided to the student, the book quickly starts to provide the concepts of C++, which is the second stage of the C programming language. Even experienced programmers can get a lot of knowledge from this book.

You can buy this book from here.

7. Learn C the Hard Way by Zed A. Shaw

Learn C the Hard Way Practical Exercises on the Computational Subjects You Keep Avoiding (Like C) (Zed Shaw's Hard Way Series)

Last on our list is the book whose title might seem a little intimidating, but when you start reading the book, you will understand that the title was just a fun name to give to the book. In the past decade, this book has got itself placed on the top shelf of the books which programmers would recommend to one another. The main reason behind this success was the code exposure that it provides to the readers. This book has some real codes, not just the small ones. It has 52 different exercises for you to solve and test out your coding skills.

You can buy this book from here.


So these were the 7 best C programming books that you should be reading to learn C programming at your own pace. These books are quite easy to read and will surely give you a good time when you read them.

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Akhil Bhadwal
Akhil Bhadwal
Creating and curating content for 7+ years now. I've worked for different organizations on various capacities and dealt with a wide range of content that includes both tech and non-tech.

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