Top 5 Rust Books for Beginners in 2023

Rust is not just what you find on nails or old fences. Rust is the name of a programming language worth learning.

Rust is not just what you find on nails or old fences. Rust is the name of a programming language worth learning.

Rust is an open-source systems programming language that focuses on speed, memory safety, and performance. Rust is meant for developers and projects where there is a need for a safe and stable execution environment. 

Developers are using Rust to create a wide range of new software applications, such as game engines, operating systems, file systems, browser components, and simulation engines for virtual reality.

If you are looking for some useful books to learn Rust Programming language for beginners, then you have come to the right place. In this article, I am going to share some of the best books to learn Rust from scratch.


Why Learn Rust

Want to get started with programming? Here's why you should learn the Rust programming language.

Here are the reasons you should learn the Rust programming language:

  • Control without Compromise: Rust combines the speed and control of a lower-level language with the tools, safety, and debugging provided by a high-level language.

  • Speed: Rust is fast. The memory management rules mean that it requires no garbage collection. Also, Rust has no runtime checking. It can work with minimal runtime or even no runtime at all.

  • Safety without Performance Loss: With Rust, control and safety can be achieved together without losing performance.

  • Popularity: Many companies around the world are using Rust in production today for fast, low-resource, cross-platform solutions. 

  • Community: An active community of volunteer coders maintains the Rust codebase and continues to add new enhancements. 

  • Mozilla-sponsored: Mozilla sponsors the Rust open source project.

  • Career Demand: There is a good demand for programmers who knows Rust.


What Makes Best Rust Books? 

There are a few parameters that you should look for when selecting the Rust book for beginners.

  • Should make you think and stimulate your mind.

  • Should have a logical and well-structured organization of content.

  • Should include hands-on exercises, practice problems, and questions for you to work on your own

  • Content must be relevant and up-to-date.

  • Use clear, precise, and easy-to-understand language.

Give it a thought and choose wisely!

Best Rust Books for Beginners 

Here are the best Rest books for beginners:


1. Best Book for Completionists: The Rust Programming Language

The Rust Programming Language written by Steve Klabnik and Carol Nichols is the official Rust book and known by the Rust community as “The Book.” This Rust programming book starts with a hands-on project to help understand the basics. 

After reading this book, you will be able to:

  • Grasp important concepts unique to Rust, like ownership, borrowing, and lifetimes

  • Use Cargo, Rust’s built-in package manager, to build and maintain your code, including downloading and building dependencies

  • Effectively use Rust’s zero-cost abstractions and employ your own

You’ll learn to develop reliable code that’s speed and memory-efficient while avoiding the infamous and arcane programming pitfalls common at the systems level. This comprehensive book contains topics including pattern matching, iterators, and smart pointers. You will use examples and exercises, solidifying your theory into practice. 

This book is well-written and easy to follow and should be your first book if you want to learn Rust programming language.


2. Best Book for Step-by-step Learners: Beginning Rust: From Novice to Professional

Beginning Rust: From Novice to Professional by Carlo Milanesi teaches you the basics and the best ways to learn Rust. The book has an easy, step-by-step approach and helps you build on the knowledge you gained in previous chapters and see what Rust has to offer. After reading this book, you will learn:

  • Get started programming with Rust

  • Understand heterogeneous data structures and data sequences

  • Define functions, generic functions, structs, and more

  • Work with closures, changeable strings, ranges, and slices

  • Use traits and learn about lifetimes  

The contents in the book are divided into twenty-three chapters:

  • Chapter 1 covers Printing on the Terminal

  • Chapter 2 talks about Doing Arithmetic

  • Chapter 3 covers Naming Objects

  • Chapter 4 covers Controlling Execution Flow

  • Chapter 5 talks about Using Data Sequences

  • Chapter 6 talks about Using Primitive Types

  • Chapter 7 covers Enumerating Cases

  • Chapter 8 talks about Using Heterogeneous Data Structures

  • Chapter 9 covers Defining Functions

  • Chapter 10 guides you in Defining Generic Functions and Structs

  • Chapter 11 talks about Allocating Memory

  • Chapter 12 covers Data Implementation

  • Chapter 13 talks about Defining Closures

  • Chapter 14 talks about Using Changeable Strings

  • Chapter 15 covers Ranges and Slices

  • Chapter 16 talks about Using Iterators

  • Chapter 17 covers Input/Output and Error Handling

  • Chapter 18 talks about Using Traits

  • Chapter 19 covers Object-Oriented Programming

  • Chapter 20 covers Standard Library Collections

  • Chapter 21 covers Drops, Moves, and Copies

  • Chapter 22 covers Borrowing and Lifetimes

  • Chapter 23 talks more about Lifetimes

This book is suitable for those who are new to Rust and who have at least some prior experience with programming in general.


3. Book for Hands-on Learners: Rust in Action

Rust in Action by TS McNamara has everything you need to know to get started programming effectively in Rust! It introduces the Rust programming language by exploring numerous systems programming concepts and techniques.

The book is written in an engaging style with crisp and easy-to-grasp examples that help readers get off the ground in no time. The book is divided into twelve chapters.

  • Chapter 1 covers an introduction to Rust

  • Chapter 2 covers language foundations

  • Chapter 3 talks about compound data types

  • Chapter 4 covers lifetimes, ownership, and borrowing

  • Chapter 5 covers data in depth

  • Chapter 6 covers memory

  • Chapter 7 covers files and storage

  • Chapter 8 covers networking

  • Chapter 9 covers time and timekeeping

  • Chapter 10 covers processes, threads, and containers

  • Chapter 11 covers kernel

  • Chapter 12 covers signals, interrupts, and exceptions

You'll be learning Rust by delving into how computers work under the hood. 


More books you might like:


4. Best Book for Serious Learners: Programming Rust: Fast, Safe Systems Development

Programming Rust: Fast, Safe Systems Development by Jim Blandy & Jason Orendorff is a must-have for system programmers who are looking to learn Rust. You will get a broad overview of Rust’s concepts with plenty of good code examples.

Through this book, you will learn about memory management, ownership, moves, borrows, unit tests, generic code, closures, collections, iterators, concurrency, etc. The topics covered in the book include:

  • How Rust represents values in memory (with diagrams)

  • Complete explanations of ownership, moves, borrows, and lifetimes

  • Cargo, rustdoc, unit tests, and how to publish your code on, Rust’s public package repository

  • High-level features like generic code, closures, collections, and iterators that make Rust productive and flexible

  • Concurrency in Rust: threads, mutexes, channels, and atomics, all much safer to use than in C or C++

  • Unsafe code, and how to preserve the integrity of ordinary code that uses it

  • Extended examples illustrating how pieces of the language fit together

This book is well-written and comprehensive and will give the reader a good in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Rust language.

Other Ways to Learn

If you want to learn Rust quickly and learn it well, I recommend that self-taught programmers pair their book with another learning medium. This way, you have multiple inputs and don’t get burnt out on just one form of learning.

I recommend Udemy, which offers Rust Programming Language for Beginners. The course is packed with nearly 20 hours of video lessons on the Rust language. While you’re not reading, you can brew a hot beverage and put on a video to re-enforce the content.

If you are learning on a budget, I’ve compiled over 70 free coding resources to help you continue your learning journey. I hope to see you over there. Thank you so much for visiting this article. 😊

Miranda Limonczenko

Miranda is the founder of Books on Code, with a mission to bring book-lover culture to programmers. Learn more by checking out Miranda on LinkedIn.

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