If you want to learn about quantum computing, read a book. There are plenty of videos, blog articles, news articles, online courses, and so forth out there, but none of them bring it all together like the books on this list.

From where I sit, three books stand out as being the most-recommended on social media. The quality of the book may depend on your background, however. The book that I found to be the most useful to me, may not be the best choice for you.

Let’s start with my preference: Quantum Computing for Computer Scientists by Noson S. Yanofsky and Mirco A. Mannucci. If your background is computer science, like mine is, this book will probably make the most sense to you.

Next up: Quantum Computation and Quantum Information by Michael A. Nielsen and Isaac L. Chuang. This book is actually recommended the most, but it seems to be recommended by physicists. Therefore, I’m guessing its target audience is physicists.

Last, but not least: Dancing with Qubits by Robert S. Sutor. This book is actually fairly new, but the recommendations came quickly. I recently discovered that Dr. Sutor is a mathematician, and it shows. If you have a strong mathematics background, start here.

Let the record show that there are no links, no affiliate programs, nor any other such things in this article. I’m on a second reading of two of these books, and I’ve read a good percentage of the third. In fact, I currently plan on reading all three in a loop until I feel like I’ve learned everything I possibly can from them.

One final thought: I’ll leave you with an honorable mention. There is a free, online Qiskit textbook. If you want to get started quickly with building and running circuits, start there. I started with the tutorials that later became the Qiskit textbook and was able to run hundreds of circuits. This resource is a great way to become enthusiastic about the field.

These three books, however, each have hundreds of pages of explanation. They definitely go more in-depth than the online textbook.

That said, imagine studying a programming language and never writing code. Therefore, I recommend reading through the Qiskit textbook and running a few circuits so that you’re actually doing some quantum computing while reading about it. The books will deepen your understanding of the circuits and equations, while Qiskit will help bring the pages to life.

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