I have  a lot of web design books – I mean a lot. I’ve been collecting them since I started Red Kite in 2005, and I thought this would be a great place to share which ones have been most useful to me as a designer and developer.

Even though things change very rapidly in the web world, these books are still very valid and important.

Four good CSS books for those just starting out:

1) The Zen of CSS Design.

From the creators of the Zen Garden, this is one of the first books I bought as a result of being blown away by the amazing variety of design work on that site. If you’re new to CSS and have not yet visited the Zen Garden, go. Now. It was the single biggest influence on me as a web designer starting out.

This beautiful book by Dave Shea and Molly Holzschlag provides a very detailed look at the code, styles and design presented on the website. It’s a must-have as far as design inspiration.

Best thing about this book: meaningful examples of just about every basic and not-so-basic CSS technique accompany imagery right from the Zen Garden site.

2) The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks.

Let me first say that I don’t use hacks.  :-)
This book is a nice collection of tips for new and experienced CSS users. It’s organized in a smart question-and-answer format (“How do I create a print style sheet?”) from the folks at Sitepoint.

Best thing about this book: the chapter on positioning and layout has saved me on numerous occasions.

3) Eric Meyer on CSS.

This book (and its sequel) by web standards advocate Eric Meyer is a great overview of how to use CSS in real-world websites.

Best thing about this book: each chapter is its own step-by-step project – for example, “How To Skin a Menu” and “How to Style a Press Release.”

4) 250 HTML And Web Design Secrets.

While not specifically a CSS book, there’s such a fine collection of info packed into this one compact volume by Molly Holzschlag that it’s well worth having in your design library – there are several chapters on CSS, but this is really a comprehensive web design guide suited for beginner to intermediate designers.

Best thing about this book: so much useful information arranged into bite-sized chunks.

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