I have, pretty much, the entire series of books by Time Life on Home Improvement and Repair. And I just wanted to say that as a beginning DiY type person this series is really good. They cover quite a large amount of topics, and do a really good job at it. Right now I'm focusing on the Working With Wood book, and it's pretty thorough. It gives information on creating joints, building projects, sharpening, cutting, types of screws, storing and choosing wood, and on, and on. The series is definitely worth reading if you're a beginner like me.
A word of caution though. From what I understand the original series from the 70's was reprinted in the 90's. The series I'm plugging is the one from the 70's. While the one from the 90's is useful, I feel the one from the 70's is more thorough and the one from the 90's is more like a user manual that just covers certain types of repairs. Having the knowledge about why something is done like it is, and then being told how to do it is more helpful in my opinion.
Anyway, I highly recommend the series to all newcomers of the DiY scene. If your interested in acquiring them, eBay is a good route. Lots of sales exist, and for cheap too. I bought my collection (about 31 books) through eBay for about $30. Can't beat that deal. :)