Variable stars are those that change brightness. Their variability may be due to geometric processes such as rotation, or eclipse by a companion star, or physical processes such as vibration, solar flares, or cataclysmic explosions. In each case, variable stars provide unique information about the properties of stars, and the processes that go on within them. This book provides a concise overview of variable stars, including a historical perspective, an introduction to stars in general, the techniques for discovering and studying variable stars, and a description of the main types of variable stars. It ends with short reflections about the connection between the study of variable stars, and research, education, amateur astronomy, and public interest in astronomy. This book is intended for anyone with some background knowledge of astronomy, but is especially suitable for undergraduate students and experienced amateur astronomers, who can contribute to our understanding of these important stars.