Looking for some of the best books on LEGO building? Here’s my list of favorites that’ll especially appeal to Adult Fans of LEGOs (AFoLs).
First, a few fun LEGO facts!
I think the LEGO Group’s endurance proves the everlasting appeal of their tiny toy bricks. Fuelled by underdog success, LEGO – derived from the Danish phrase leg godt (‘play well’) continues to sell well over 75 billion bricks annually to over 140 countries.
However, amid this vast quantity, the LEGO Group has also managed to uphold their high quality standards. The company has had zero product recalls since 2009. Impressive!
Commercially, 2018 was a pretty bad year for LEGO, seeing its first fall in sales in 13 years. Nonetheless, since then, the toy brand has steadily gotten back in favor with consumers – with returning profits being reinvested into future projects.
Most people tend to think that LEGO is only meant for kids. However, more and more adult fan communities are popping up globally. Noticing this, the LEGO Group has made concurrent efforts to market their toys to grown-ups.
My list of favorite books on LEGO building for adults
As a lifelong fan myself, I’ve put together a list of what I feel are the best books to inspire adult LEGO builders. Each is filled with tons of great info, fresh ideas, and tips that’ll expand your creative mind and technique.
1. Beautiful LEGO
LEGO is more than just child’s play. Thanks to the brilliance of many adult artists, these toy bricks are now widely seen as an expressive art form that brings truly breathtaking ideas to life.
Beautiful LEGO celebrates the works of dozens of renowned adult LEGO creators around the world, all printed in full-color. These brick art pieces range from lifelike replicas of everyday household items to iconic buildings, detailed spaceships, mythical creatures, and much more.
The book also contains interviews with the LEGO artists, giving avid readers a glimpse into their imaginative process. I found this to be very informative, spurring my own willingness to try new LEGO-building ideas and approaches.
Overall, Beautiful LEGO is more of an inspiration catalogue than an exact step-by-step technique guide. I think it’s a perfect book for those who prefer learning via analyzing others’ works.
You might also want to check out the sequel, who uniquely focuses on darkly colored LEGO masterpieces.
- No Starch Press
- Hardcover Book
- Mike Doyle (Author)
2. The LEGO Architecture Idea Book
To me, this is one of the best LEGO books to read if you’re especially keen on brick architecture.
Written for adult LEGO fans, The LEGO Architecture Idea Book is a go-to guide that teaches you nearly everything you need to know about creating your own detailed LEGO buildings. It breaks its vast info down to digestible chapters, each covering specific build aspects (e.g. brickwork, framing and paneling, wall construction, etc.).
I find the book very easy to follow, thanks to its good balance of visual aids and text. In addition, it really helps that author Alice Finch is widely seen as one of the best LEGO architects around. She’s been featured in numerous big publications and truly knows her stuff.
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3. How to Build Easy Creations with LEGO Bricks
If you’re rusty or a new AFoLs, How to Build Easy Creations with LEGO Bricks is the perfect guide that’ll get you going. In my opinion, it’s easily among the best books on LEGO building for adult beginners.
This 208-page handbook handles all the basics you need to know. You’ll be shown all the core techniques and concepts that’ll help you become an expert builder over time.
Best of all, the book contains lots of QR codes that, when scanned, bring you to additional and free training videos. I found these to be very useful in helping me reinforce my learning process.
In addition, author Francesco Frangioja is himself a trained facilitator in ‘LEGO SERIOUSPLAY’ – a methodology that promotes adult learning. In other words, he’s an expert at teaching people like us how to LEGO.
- Frangioja, Francesco (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 208 Pages - 10/23/2018 (Publication Date) - Thunder Bay Press (Publisher)
4. Just Brick It: Over 20 Projects for Adult Fans of LEGO
Instead of loose tips and ideas, Just Brick It comprises step-by-step instructions for specific LEGO projects, guiding you all the way to completion.
The book has 20 detailed projects in total. These include holiday decorations, art and design ideas, and many more. In addition, you’ll love the playful writing style that is both funny and instructional, making the entire learning process really engaging.
I think Just Brick It will be especially fun for parents keen on creating shared LEGO projects with their kids. It offers just enough challenge to keep grown-ups entertained – but not too hard that children will lose interest. An ideal balance!
5. LEGO Space: Building the Future
If you’re a massive space buff, look no further than LEGO Space for some amazing build ideas and stunning pictures.
The book cleverly merges an engaging sci-fi story (beginning with humanity’s early days of space exploration) with practical LEGO building tips inserted in-between. This makes for fun contextual learning that’ll ignite your own building imagination.
I especially loved how the designs of various space characters, stations, and so on stays true to LEGO classic space. For instance, red uniforms represent flight crew members, white indicates ground teams, etc. This themed homage will truly delight many long-time adult LEGO fans (especially those who started way back in the 80-90s).
6. The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book
Yoshihito Isogawa has published many excellent books that are popular among LEGO Technic fans. However, if you’re new, I recommend starting with Book 1 of his The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book series, which begins with the basics.
The entire series is fully illustrated with very clear instructions. You’ll start by learning simple build principles as Isogawa gradually helps you wrap your head around more complex mechanics.
As I progressed, the joy of creating my own moving contraption never got old! I found myself getting more and more familiar with the various gears, gadgets, motors, and other parts. Thanks to Isogawa’s many tips, building custom LEGO machines from scratch (albeit simple ones) became a breeze.
In short, Isogawa offers some of the best books on LEGO building for adults looking to master Technic.
7. The LEGO Neighborhood Book: Build Your Own Town!
I think The LEGO Neighborhood Book, along with its sequel, are must-haves for adult LEGO fans who enjoy building elaborate cities and towns. They cover the full artistry of creating lovely LEGO buildings (including exterior and interior designs) and how to add the finishing touches to your vision, such as traffic lights, greenery, and more.
The books are mostly focused on LEGO modular building units, and contain ample tips and step-by-steps with full-color photos. Above all, I learnt how to pay more attention to the little build details that separate mediocre neighborhoods from great ones.
Like other best books on LEGO building, the step-by-step instructions come fully illustrated, making for easy learning.
- No Starch Press
- Isogawa, Yoshihito (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
8. LEGO Awesome Ideas
LEGO Awesome Ideas does what its title says. It doesn’t latch itself to any one build theme, but rather, feeds you a wide range of eclectic LEGO ideas to try out.
For example, in one section, I learnt how to put together a cute LEGO banana – and in another, a tree house and steam train. Above all, I think this diverse mix of builds aided me in expanding my core grasp of how different LEGO bricks can fit together to fuel unlimited possibilities.
In short, while not as in-depth as other books on this list, LEGO Awesome Ideas is a great catalyst of inspiration to try new things. It’s a perfect companion for happy generalists like me!
Other great LEGO building books for adults
Here are a few more fantastic titles to spark your grown-up LEGO imagination!
9. The LEGO Animation Book
Ever thought of creating your very own LEGO animation series? It can be quite challenging – at first. However, The LEGO Animation Book dramatically simplifies the entire process with clear instructions and pictures. A must-read for any aspiring LEGO movie director!
10. The LEGO Build-It Book
Vehicular enthusiasts will adore this LEGO builders’ book series. Both Book 1 and 2 focus on showing you how to construct amazing brick vehicles. This includes race cars, trucks, fork lifts, and so much more. Up your creations to the next level!
11. Brick Pets: 30 Builds
Learn how to build LEGO brick animals that’ll make for incredibly cute gifts for others – or to keep for yourself. My personal fave is the hamster design!
12. The LEGO Adventure Book
Like LEGO Awesome Ideas, Megan Rothrock’s series unlocks your imagination with a huge collection of builds (literally hundreds!). You’ll learn how to make anything from dragons to pirate ships, robots to villages. Above all, I loved how all the books are presented in a striking comic visual style!
- Hardcover Book
13. Brick City: Global Icons to Make from LEGO
This book teaches you how to create impressive LEGO replicas of real-world iconic buildings, including the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, and many more. Author Warren Elsmore is among the masters of his craft.
14. The LEGO Book
OK, this isn’t really a how-to or build guide book. Instead, The LEGO Book is a celebration of the LEGO Group’s history and its greatest franchise milestones. The book comes complete with full-color photos, fun facts, and even an exclusive LEGO brick for adult collectors!