Stack OverflowProgramming texts and reference material for my Kindle DX, creating the ultimate reference device?
[+103] [14] mwilliams
[2008-10-05 18:14:06]
[ books ]

(Revisiting this topic with the release of the Kindle DX)

Having owned both generation Kindle readers and now getting a Kindle DX; I'm very excited for true PDF handling on an e-ink device!

An image of _Why's book on my Kindle (from my iPhone) [1].

This gives me a device capable of storing hundreds of thousands of pages that are full text search capable in the form factor of a magazine.

What references (preferably PDF to preserve things such as code samples) would you recommend? Ultimately I would like reference material for every modern and applicable programming language (C, C++, Objective-C, Python, Ruby, Java, .NET (C#, Visual Basic, ASP.NET), Erlang, SQL references) as well as general programming texts and frameworks (algorithms, design patterns, theory, Rails, Django, Cocoa, ORMs, etc) and anything else that could be thought of.

With so many developers here using such a wide array of languages, as a professional in your particular field, what books or references would you recommend to me for my Kindle? Creative Commons material a plus (translate that to free) as well as the material being in the PDF file format. File size is not an issue.

If this turns out to be a success, I will update with a follow-up with a compiled list generated from all of the answers.

Thanks for the assistance and contributing!


I have been using the Kindle DX a lot now for technical books. Check out this blog post I did for high resolution photos of different material:

How are you liking the kindle DX for programming books? - Kyle Walsh
(2) Having recently bought a Kindle 3 (and liking it), I find PDFs really unappropriate for such a small display. This has nothing to do with the quality of the device. Most PDFs are made for A4, letter or nearly as large paper, and that simply to tiny for my eyes on a 6" diagonal e-ink page. I wish people STOP using the word "ebook" for PDFs. PDFs are just NOT ebooks. - iDevlop
Very cool link there, man. - pixelbobby
[+23] [2008-10-05 18:26:49] Daniel Jomphe [ACCEPTED]

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (PDF available) [1]



Fantastic! Thank you for getting the ball rolling! - mwilliams
(2) with the lecture videos also available at - jake
(7) Kindle version (.mobi) here - Sridhar Ratnakumar
The link is dead. - Celil
Updated the link, thank you. - Daniel Jomphe
I watched the lecture videos some time ago and thoroughly enjoyed them. - Daniel Jomphe
[+11] [2008-10-05 20:11:07] mwilliams

I'm not an expert in Python by any means, but found this free PDF to add to the bunch.

Dive Into Python (zipped PDF) [1]

alt text


(3) The PDF has super tiny print on a kindle. Anyone know of a ebook or mobi version of this one? - Nik Reiman
I too would love to see someone build a mobi version of this. - Mike B
@Nik (a little late) just download the plain text version, it worked great for me. - Flying Swissman
[+9] [2008-10-05 18:38:27] Daniel Jomphe

Thinking in Java - (3rd ed.: PDF free) [1] - (4th ed.: PDF $) [2]



i loved Bruce Eckel's "Thinking in..." series - jake
Love this book. I'm a .NET guy, but this is the one that really got me going. - rebelliard
a programming book with lots of bugs on the cover... looks promising! - froeschli
[+9] [2008-10-05 18:58:41] Daniel Jomphe

Concepts, Techniques, and Models of Computer Programming (PDF) [1]



Fantastic, thanks for the contribution! - mwilliams
The link is broken. :( - jlafay
Found a new link. ;) - Daniel Jomphe
[+8] [2008-10-05 18:46:44] mwilliams

It was in my question, but I'll toss in my Ruby suggestion.

Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby (free PDF) [1]

Whys Cover


(1) Your link is dead, you can get it here now: - John Bubriski
[+8] [2008-10-05 20:37:42] Rich

Practical Common Lisp

No PDF, but not hard to make one: the entire book is online as simple HTML [1].


No need, Kindle can read HTML better than it can read PDF. - Simucal
… from the OP: "preferably PDF to preserve things such as code samples". - Rich
[+4] [2008-10-05 18:36:21] pookleblinky

This is a brilliant idea!

The Kindle also has wiki access... It wouldn't require too many broken arms for Amazon to provide Stack Overflow access 24/7 anywhere as well.

I would suggest we convert source to PDF, and put open source projects in as well as textbooks. Imagine being able to refer to MB's of real-world examples of a design pattern, while sitting at a diner.

When you really think about how much capability this device has (especially with free network access anywhere for life), the possibilities are pretty endless and I'm glad you like my idea! - mwilliams
[+4] [2008-10-23 02:06:19] Jiaaro

I'm quite tired and don't have the time to submit these all as seperate answers, but Wikibooks [1] has quite a few in the computing department [2], and they're all available free, as either HTML or PDF.

Here are a few:

Good luck and good night!

PS - you're making me want a Kindle [8] now ;)


[+3] [2009-06-03 02:42:17] Chris Nava

Version Control with Subversion [1]


[+3] [2009-08-02 02:09:26] Peter Mortensen

You can't live without Leo Brodie's book Thinking Forth [1] (PDF, 4.3 MB, -is not a direct download URL; needs to go through the pesky SourceForce download process).

Especially not when Chuck Moore, the creator of Forth [2], claims that all programs can be made 100 times smaller and 1000 times faster [3].


(2) print "hello, World!" There! make that 100 times smaller and 1000 times faster. - Matthew Scouten
(1) @Matthew Scouten: I think Chuck Moore refers to real-world non-trivial programs. - Peter Mortensen
Always with the exceptions... - MDCore
[+2] [2010-08-09 10:25:42] psvm

The Kindle has got access to Wikipedia and Google as well. It would be really great if Stack Overflow comes up with a mobile site which opens easily on a Kindle mobile browser.

About the PDF's, you better convert them to text of .prc (using the Mobipocket Reader [1] from [2]

Kindle serves as your ultimate reference guide if you have got it fully loaded. :)


[+2] [2011-01-12 08:31:49] progo

Introduction to Objective Caml [1] by Jason Hickey. I've always wanted to read that but my eyes just don't tolerate long reading from screen. Thankfully, I bought a Kindle :))


[+1] [2009-06-03 02:27:40] mwilliams

Trying to bring this thread back to life with the release of the Kindle DX:

[-8] [2009-06-03 02:57:25] Triptych

I'll go ahead and point out that Google is the ultimate reference device, and is pretty much always available to you while you're programming.

I'd rather have less technical stuff on the Kindle.