The 10 Best Books to Learn CSS


The best CSS books offer a practical guide to the programming language for aspiring web developers and designers. They provide real-world examples, essential concepts of CSS design, and basic coding skills to help readers create professional-looking websites.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a programming language used for describing and styling web elements. The language has become a cornerstone technology for the World Wide Web. Developers use the various CSS features in conjunction with HTML and JavaScript to develop responsive web designs.

Aspiring tech professionals are now seeking to learn CSS by reading the best books for front end web development. In this article, we take a close look at a few of the top selections. The best books to learn CSS will teach you CSS terminology and help you launch a career in tech.

How Can I Choose the Best Books for CSS?

You can choose the best books for CSS by doing thorough research and checking reviews from the people who’ve read them. The type of book you get will depend on your learning goals and your current level of CSS knowledge. It’s important to know how to choose the right books for your skill level.

If you’re starting out, look for books for absolute beginners that can teach you CSS fundamentals. If you’re already an expert or have some experience with the language, try searching for books that teach advanced techniques for grasping complex CSS concepts.

Tips for Choosing the Best CSS Books

  • Determine your level of knowledge and experience. Someone with basic knowledge will need a different book than someone with more advanced knowledge. Being honest with yourself about your skills will help narrow down the list of books you should be reading.
  • Conduct online research. Try looking for books in bestseller lists or from tech websites that give out book suggestions.
  • Seek professional advice. Ask experienced designers and developers about the books that they’ve read throughout their careers. Inquire about the different web design books you can read to help refine your CSS skills.
  • Read reviews. Read reviews from the people who’ve read the books you want. Check their thoughts and opinions so you can gauge your expectations. These reviews will guide you in choosing the right books.
  • Ask peers and colleagues. Ask for book recommendations from friends and colleagues. If you know any intermediate-to-advanced CSS developers, you can pick their brains about the best books to learn CSS.

The 10 Best CSS Books: An Overview

Name Publisher Topics Covered
The Book of CSS3: A Developer’s Guide to the Future of Web Design No Starch Press 2D and 3D transformation, syntax of gradients, grids, box layout
CSS: The Definitive Guide O’Reilly Styling pages, avoiding potential bugs, adding depth to applications
CSS in Depth Manning Responsive web design, pattern libraries, coding maintainability
CSS Master Sitepoint Complex layouts, next-level effects, bug detection
CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions Apress CSS modules, CSS typography, modular CSS
CSS: The Missing Manual O’Reilly CSS Flexbox, HTML, animation
CSS Pocket Reference: Visual Presentation for the Web O’Reilly CSS Grid, CSS Flexbox, masking, clipping
CSS Secrets: Better Solutions to Everyday Web Design Problems O’Reilly Solving problems with code, visual effects, typography, user experience
CSS Visual Dictionary Learning Curve Books Visual diagrams, Flexbox, Grid, typography.
Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics O’Reilly Responsive designs, coding, key concepts in CSS design

The 10 Best CSS Books: A Closer Look

The books mentioned below have proven to be some of the best CSS books. All of them have been highly recommended by experts and learners. Below are detailed descriptions of all the books listed in the table above.

1. The Book of CSS3: A Developer’s Guide to the Future of Web Design

  •  Author: Peter Gasston
  • Best for: Beginners who wish to understand CSS

This beginner book translates the technical and complicated language of CSS3 into plain English that shows you what the programming language is capable of. It’ll guide you on how to style texts with custom fonts and apply 2D and 3D graphics to texts and images. It’ll also teach you how to organize a web page into grids and columns.

2. CSS: The Definitive Guide

  • Author: Erica A. Meyer and Estelle Weyl
  • Best for:  Advanced web developers interested in learning about web page styling

This book is for web developers who are interested in web page styling. It’s a comprehensive guide for CSS implementation. It covers CSS padding, floats and positioning tricks, flexible box layouts, and the grid layout system.

3. CSS in Depth

  • Author: Keith J. Grant
  • Best for: Students who want to learn more CSS

The book exposes people to mind-blowing CSS techniques. This CSS book is also highly recommended because it’s packed with creative examples that guide readers along the learning journey. It contains tricks on how to avoid common pitfalls. It also teaches you how to use Flexbox and Grid, maintain your code, and build responsive designs.

4. CSS Master

  • Author: Tiffany B. Brown
  • Best for: Advanced web designers and front end developers

CSS Master was specifically made for web designers and front end web developers who want to take their skills to a higher level. The book is a complete guide on making efficient code, using next-level transitions, and creating effective debugging methods.

5. CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions

  • Author: Andy Budd and Emil Bjorklund
  • Best for:  Beginner students hoping to learn CSS

Fully updated with the latest CSS modules, CSS Mastery makes the learning journey simple and modern. With a step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn technical skills in a practical way. The book contains full coverage of modular CSS and explains how to deal with the most common bugs.

6. CSS: The Missing Manual

  • Author: David Sawyer McFarland
  • Best for: Beginner and advanced learners of interactive front end development

The manual provides developers with tips, instructions, and tricks for CSS. With the growth of CSS, the book keeps developers up to date with new layouts and tools. The guide helps to add animation to texts, use professional techniques like floats and positioning, and design websites with Flexbox to make them compatible with mobile phones and other devices.

7. CSS Pocket Reference: Visual Presentation for the Web

  • Author: Eric A. Meyer
  • Best for: Advanced learners of CSS

This book provides a practical approach to CSS features like Flexbox, CSS Grid, clipping, and compositing. You can learn how to work with queries, texts, images, filter effects, and a full range of style elements.

8. CSS Secrets: Better Solutions to Everyday Web Design Problems

  • Author: Lea Verou
  • Best for: Advanced learners and seasoned web developers

The book contains essential instructions on CSS typography, browser support, bugs, and variable fonts. It deals with more advanced concepts and web design skills, using practical examples of modern websites and web design patterns to drive its points home.

9. CSS Visual Dictionary

  • Author: Greg Sidelnikov
  • Best for: Beginners who want to learn more about CSS

CSS Visual Dictionary is a perfect learning resource for those who want to learn CSS. In the book, several CSS properties are covered with the aid of visual diagrams. The visual approach makes this book a quick reference guide for elegant solutions.

10. Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics

  • Author: Jennifer Niederst Robbins
  • Best for: Students and beginners who want to learn CSS

The book teaches CSS from scratch, complete with the latest features. It teaches you how to make use of media queries and fluid designs to create responsive web pages and make them look good on any screen.

Alternative Ways to Learn CSS

The top alternative ways to learn CSS are CSS bootcamps and online CSS courses. These are all effective learning opportunities that you can use to get started on the basics of CSS. Bootcamps and online resources provide a starting point for learning modern web design, building web development skills, and preparing for jobs in tech.

Is Learning CSS Worth It?

Yes, learning CSS is worth it. CSS skills are in high demand in the web development world, so learning the CSS language will help you secure job opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for web developers is expected to grow at a rate of 13 percent over the current decade, with 17,900 new job openings each year.

Additionally, according to PayScale, the average salary of a web developer is around $60,752. The top 10 percent of web developers earn about $90,000. While the bottom 10 percent earn around $42,000. PayScale also estimates that, in the tech industry as a whole, CSS skills are worth an annual salary of $69,000.

Best CSS Books FAQ

Do I need to learn how to code to understand CSS?

Yes, you need to learn how to code to understand CSS. So, before embarking on the CSS journey, be aware that you’ll need to sharpen your coding skills. You can do this by joining one of the best coding bootcamps, which are short and intensive programs that teach you job-ready skills.

How profitable is it to learn CSS?

It’s very profitable to learn CSS, which is the foundation of modern web design. Learning CSS is one of the key skills that gain you access to tech industry jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median web and digital interface designer earns $79,890 per year, which is much higher than average.

Can you self-learn CSS?

Yes, you can self-learn CSS. You can learn CSS on your own with books, online courses, and videos. These resources are available on both computers and mobile devices. The widespread availability of resources can help you become a knowledgeable and experienced developer.

What are the best sites to learn CSS?

The best sites to learn CSS are Udemy, Codecademy, and Coursera. These online learning platforms teach you the basic skills of CSS. They also provide online CSS courses that can kickstart your learning journey.

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