My Top Five Computer Basics Books

recommended by Kris_Duering

how to operate digital devices. Whether you’re the one venturing bravely into technological life or you’re planning to gift a relative, consider hitting up the public library and getting some instruction too. Try one of these six easy, librarian-approved how-to computer books for new tech users to start. Later, if you’re feeling brave, you can learn to code with your kids and grandkids.

  • 1


    Absolute Beginners Guide to Computing
    by Wallace Wang

    Many of these books that I recommend here focus on Windows 10. Why? Well my friends, for the same reason that you’d focus on a house that’s on fire: it’s a big deal, it’s hard to manage, and it must be dealt with. Wang’s guide to computing discusses using Windows 10’s file system and features, but also explains signing up for online services, opening an email account, and listening to music online. That means it’s a good choice for users of other operating systems, too.

  • 2


    Computer Basics Absolute Beginner's Guide, Windows 10 Edition
    by Michael Miller

    In addition to walking users through Windows 10 setup, Miller’s comprehensive work shows you how to open up a social media account and explains the purpose and significance of this action. It also has a section about viruses and spyware, which I’ve found is a conversation that many tech-literate people don’t have with their tech newbie friends and family. As a result of this lack of information, many new tech users download “ad blockers” that are themselves malware. Skip the heartache and read this book before you venture online for the first time.

  • 3


    Computers for Seniors: Email, Internet, Photos, and More in 14 Easy Lessons
    by Chris Ewin, Carrie Ewin & Cheryl Ewin

    This book has pictures—in color, no less! It also deals with one of the most common questions that I get at the reference desk: how to manage your digital photos. The tone is light and a little jokey just to remind you that this is a fun, positive experience and you’re going to learn how to use your new computer just fine.

  • 4


    Computers Made Easy: From Dummy To Geek
    by James Bernstein

    While some of our other guides focus on getting right online, this book focuses on how exactly your computer operates. What is software really? How does it relate to the peripherals? Is any of this on the Internet? Bernstein’s book will lay out the whole bag of silicon snakes for you in a clear, understandable way. Ideal for people who like detail and in-depth knowledge.

  • 5


    "Is This Thing On?": A Friendly Guide to Everything Digital for Newbies, Technophobes, and the Kic
    by Abby Stokes

    Unlike a lot of other computer books for new tech users, this title helps you choose your technology before you buy it. It also has information on how to use a smartphone, a category of devices which is both a mixed blessing for people with arthritis and vision issues and essentially unavoidable if you want to live a full modern life. Better yet, the author has a support website where you can watch free video tutorials and read her thoughts on how to manage your digital existence. This book is seriously my go-to. Of all the titles on this list, I recommend it most highly.

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