How to read more security + engineering books

And some book recommendations for 2022–23

Vickie Li
5 min readAug 25, 2023
Photo by Jexo on Unsplash

Ever since I wrapped up writing my own book back in 2021, I’ve been trying to learn more broadly about other domains in security and software engineering.

A lot of the learning came from ad-hoc googling, but I feel like one of the best ways to gain a solid foundation of a topic is to read a well-written book. So in this post, I’d like to share what I learned about reading technical books and how to learn more from books with less time and money.

Affording technical books

First of all, one of the issues I ran into when trying to read more technical books was gaining access to the books that I wanted to read. Technical books are really expensive — averaging somewhere around 50–100 USD per book.

O’Reilly subscription

To work around this issue, I got an O’Reilly learning subscription ( It’s a learning platform subscription that gives you access to a large library of technical books. Bug bounty bootcamp for example, is available through O’Reilly. Although the O’Reilly catalog is extensive, it doesn’t include a lot of new publications, books that are from smaller publishers, and books that are not purely technical.



Vickie Li

Professional investigator of nerdy stuff. Hacks and secures. Creates god awful infographics.