If you're really looking for beginner's books, try your local library. I
think inter-library loans work internationally now, too. It's surprising
how much of the basic material is included in books for people trying
(and sort-of succeeding) to do their own typesetting with their
computers. One of the best short treatments of the basics (from that
point of view) is Robin Williams' "The Mac Is Not A Typewriter". Also,
for current design trends, and good examples, try to get a subscription
to "U&lc" (a monthly tabloid newsprint publication sent free to the
trade). Good luck. (and I'm looking forward to seeing everone else's
favorite recommendations in their replies to your message).
Ink Spot Printing & Copy Center, Inc.