Quantum Computing: A Gentle Introduction Review

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Published by MIT press and relatively inexpensive for a textbook coming in at just under $30 the book by Rieffel and Polak is a fully-fledged Quantum Computing textbook. It might not be as common or as popular as Mike and Ike (The Quantum Bible) but I think it represents extremely good value for money for those wanting a little more detail but not so much detail it is overwhelming.

The book is not a practical book, so you won’t find examples of Quantum programming code in any of the languages or frameworks around. But that should not detract from its use on any avid Quantum Programmers bookshelf. There is pseudo code, exercises, and thoughtfully created diagrams which make the job of getting at the fundamentals manageable though.

Mike and Ike can seem rather intimidating to many learners due to the large hard-bound volume it is delivered in, but this textbook (and it is a textbook) provides a smooth introduction without glossing over the important components that make for an understanding of the mechanisms behind the physics.


  • Inexpensive. (We paid less than $30). MIT press too!
  • Easy to carry, slim, at 370+ pages, but very nicely high quality printed format.
  • Nice exercises and explanations (Grover algorithm for example).
  • Love the clear definition boxes, makes getting at the mechanics a breeze.
  • Not over-packed with content and does a good job of summarising.


  • Not for you if you want to get quantum programming immediately (but it is a textbook – so we didn’t expect it). See other books for more practical implementation guides.
  • Edition we reviewed is from 2014. Doesn’t effect the basics one jot, will there be a new edition?