Vim Books

June 2, 2024

While perusing Vim scripts, I noticed that there are several Vim books. A couple of them piqued my interest:

I bought both books and I’m about 300 pages into Practical Vim. So far it’s great. I have been using Vim for over 20 years but I still learned a few things; for example, I did not know about the \v “very magic” prefix for patterns.

If you buy the books from the publisher instead of Amazon you can download the eBooks as DRM-free PDF, EPUB, and MOBI files. I read the PDFs on my desktop and the EPUBs in the Kindle app on my phone (imported via Send to Kindle).

Unlike many technical books, the EPUBs render very nicely in the Kindle app. Example:

Page from “Practical Vim” rendered by the Kindle app on a Pixel 8 Pro

Update (2024-06-15): I finished both books. Practical Vim is great and I recommend it. Modern Vim is a bit of a tossup:

  • Pros: The introduction to neovim is helpful and so is the section on fzf integration.
  • Cons: Several chapters are a subset of material from Practical Vim (examples: chapters 2 and 4). Also Modern Vim does not cover modern Vim features like the terminal command, which I use regularly.

To be fair, :terminal is mentioned briefly in the “What’s Next for Vim 8” section of Appendix 1, and it was not included in a stable release until after Modern Vim was published.