I love books. All kinds, any kind. I find them to be the one constant in life - everything else changes, but a favourite book is always a wonderful source of comfort and pleasure.
I will be adding a new folder to my gallery website, dedicated to art books we like and recommend. Meanwhile, here are some basic technique or reference books and book series I find reliable and a better read than others.
Lorraine Harrison's Artist's Materials: All the Materials You Will Ever Need to Make Art : a good basic presentation of all kinds of different art materials. It's not all-encompassing, since no one can reasonably do an exposé of every single use and/or availability of every single art tool, but this book does give you a good basic list to help you make some decisions at the art store.
The Encyclopedia of Colored Pencil Techniques is part of a series of art technique books. The series itself is mostly hit or miss (mostly miss), but I kind of like this one for a younger reader. It explains clearly and visually some basic ways of using coloured pencils, and gives some ideas on how to work on pencil techniques. Since I haven't yet found a book I love unconditionally for this medium, this is the one I would recommend borrowing from the library.
Another series is the Teach Yourself Visually: this one, I highly recommend, whatever your interest may be. I really like their basic Photoshop manuals as well as the ones in other fields of interest (like the TYV Knitting, it's great).
On the fundamentals of art and painting, Charles Dunn's Conversations in Paint is a terrific addition to any library. This is more than just a basic tome, it really is a pleasurable read - a keeper.
Stay tuned for more in the new year.