Originally Posted by chromei386
Though books are good, a lot of the time it's best not to bother with books. Just stick with website guides that are usually more up to date and possible to find guides specific to your distribution and up to date.[...]
Books and digital docs are have advantages. Sometimes one cannot read a screen for a long time.
For books, I recommend all versions of Linux: The Complete Reference
. Fifth ed. (and probably earlier) had the whole TLDP ( http://www.tldp.org/
, one of the 1st sites you should read.) Newer editions may, except they omit some older stuff such as one of the only completely helpful howtos on dial-up modems (still relevant for a large percentage of people.)
I know no smaller book you could read (but some exist for certain GNU/Linux distributions you might choose.) There are plenty general Unix & GNU/Linux books that may help: one introducing consoles/terminals/shells may help. Those are automatically there, but you may just want to use the X Window System with either KDE or Gnome. Maybe there is a book for X users, but probably not KDE or Gnome. Hopefully you will find a GNU/Linux distribution that can automatically set them up (otherwise read the www.)