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The 5 Best Web Scraping Books 2023

There are numerous ways to learn web scraping, from offical docs of popular web scraping libraries, to free YouTube channels, or paid Udemy courses.

However, one of the best ways is the old fashioned book. In the last 5 years, numerous books have been publised that take you from a web scraping beginner to a web scraping pro in 300 pages.

In this guide we're going to share with you the best web scraping books every web scraper should know about if they want to take their web scraping skills to the next level.

This list is dominated by books about scraping with Python, not because we don't like scraping with Node.js, Java, etc. but because there are very few books about web scraping with other languages.

If you would like a free web scraping resource, then be sure to check out The Web Scraping Playbook for extensive web scraping guides and tutorials.

Need help scraping the web?

Then check out ScrapeOps, the complete toolkit for web scraping.

Web Scraping with Python By Ryan Mitchell

Top of our list is Web Scraping with Python by Ryan Mitchell, which gives you a comphrensive overview of how to scrape the web with Python using Requests/Beautifulsoup, Selenium and Scrapy.

Web Scraping with Python gives you a good overview of the basics of web scraping, along with some of the more advanced topics that will give you a solid foundation as you start scraping the web.

The book is broken up into two parts:

  • Part 1: Focuses on the basics of web scraping with both Requests/Beautifulsoup and Scrapy. Covering how to retrieve HTML data from websites, parse the data you need and then store it in a database.
  • Part 2: Focuses on more advanced topics of web scraping, including how to scrape behind logins, how to clean and post-process your data, how to scrape hidden API endpoints, how to scrape Javascript heavy websites with Selenium, etc.

This is a good introductory book to web scraping that is a great way to quickly get up to speed on web scraping fundamentals and some of the more advanced topics.

Check out Web Scraping with Python on Amazon here.

Python Web Scraping Cookbook By Michael Heydt

The Python Web Scraping Cookbook by Michael Heydt, is a great reference book for any developer diving into web scraping.

Unlike, Web Scraping with Python which is more like a guided web scraping course, the Python Web Scraping Cookbook is structured more as an encyclopedia of the common web scraping challenges and solutions that you will face when web scraping.

It is a solution-focused book that will teach you techniques to develop high-performance scrapers, including over 90 recipes to get you scraping with Python, microservices, Docker and AWS.

Starting from the basics of how to write a web scraper with:

  • Python Requests & BeautifulSoup
  • Python urllib3 & BeautifulSoup
  • Python Scrapy
  • Selenium or PhantomJS

To more advanced topics like:

  • Storing data in CSV, JSON, AWS S3, MySQL, Postgres, etc.
  • Scraping images, videos, audio, etc.
  • Controlling your crawlers - redirects, crawler depth, pagination.
  • Avoiding bans with proxies, user agents, etc.
  • Data processing & visualising your data.
  • Creating scraping microservices with Docker.
  • Creating production scraping infrastructures.

This book isn't for the beginner programmer however. It is more suited as a reference book for experienced developers who want to quickly get up to speed on web scraping best practices.

Check out the Python Web Scraping Cookbook on Amazon here.

Learning Scrapy By Dimitrios Kouzis-Loukas

If you want to learn more about Python Scrapy, the most popular web scraping framework, then Learning Scrapy by Dimitrios Kouzis-Loukas is the go to book.

In this book, Dimitrios gives you a deep understanding of the Scrapy framework, covering:

  • How to build your first Scrapy spiders.
  • Recipes for common scraping tasks - logging in, scraping APIs & AJAX pages, submitting forms, pagination, etc.
  • How to configure & customise Scrapy for your own use cases.
  • How Scrapy works under the hood, along with how it uses the Twisted framework.
  • Building data pipelines to clean & process your scraped data.
  • Deploying your Scrapy spiders to production.
  • Diagnosing & fixing Scrapy performance issues.

Outside of the offical Scrapy documentation or The Python Scrapy Playbook, Learning Scrapy is the best source of Scrapy information and the only book dedicated to learning Scrapy. So it is a great asset to any developer looking to go deep into mastering Scrapy.

Check out Learning Scrapy on Amazon here.

Hands-On Web Scraping with Python By Anish Chapagain

Hands-On Web Scraping with Python by Anish Chapagain, is one of the more recent web scraping books for Python being published in 2019.

Hands-On Web Scraping with Python is one of the more beginner friendly books on this list as it gives a broad overview of scraping with various Python libraries and really focuses on the basis of web scraping. Not going to deep into the more advanced topics.

In this book you will learn:

  • How to use browser-based developer tools from the scraping perspective.
  • How to create web scrapers with BeautifulSoup, Scrapy, lxml, pyquery, Selenium.
  • How to use XPath, CSS selectors and Regex to extract data from web pages.
  • How to handle and manage cookies and user agents.
  • Get introduced to some advanced topics like handling HTML forms and processing logins.

Check out Hands-On Web Scraping with Python on Amazon here.

Go Web Scraping Quick Start Guide By Vincent Smith

If Golang is language of choice, then Go Web Scraping Quick Start Guide by Vincent Smith is the go to book.

Go Web Scraping Quick Start Guide starts with an introduction to the use cases of building a web scraper, why Golang is ideally suited as a language for web scraping, the fundamentals of HTTP requests and responses, before moving on to how you can can build you own high performance scrapers with Go libraries like Goquery and Colly.

This is quite a good web scraping book as it dives deep into a lot of the more advanced aspects of web scraping that most other books and blog posts ignore, including:

  • Implement Cache-Control to avoid unnecessary network calls.
  • Coordinate concurrent scrapers.
  • Design a custom, larger-scale scraping system.
  • Scrape basic HTML pages with Colly and JavaScript pages with chromedp.
  • Discover how to search using the "strings" and "regexp" packages.
  • Protect your web scraper from being blocked by using proxies.
  • Control web browsers to scrape JavaScript sites.

With Golang's performance characteristics and increasing adoption amongst backend developers, it is fair to say that Golang will increasingly become a very popular language for large scale web scraping.

Check out the Go Web Scraping Quick Start Guide on Amazon here.

Web Scraping Books For NodeJs & Java

Unfortunatly, even though there are lots of developers creating web scrapers in NodeJs or Java. There are very few good web scraping books available for those languages.

  • Java - For Java we have Instant Web Scraping with Java by Ryan Mitchell. However, as it was published in 2013 it is very outdated now as web scraping and Java has moved on a lot in the last 10 years.

  • NodeJs - For Node.js we have the Kindle book Scraping Javascript-dependent website with Puppeteer by Igor Savinkin, which at only 55 pages in length only gives a quick overview of web scarping with Puppeteer.

More Web Scraping Resources

Books are not the only way to learn web scraping. There are numerous communities, discord servers, YouTube channels and blogs devoted to web scraping that you can use to take your web scraping skills to the next level.

If you would like to learn more then be sure to check out:

If you would like to learn more about web scraping in general, then be sure to check out The Web Scraping Playbook. Or check out some our other popular articles like: