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I have a really good book that is quite simple to understand. I am new to electronics too and i use this book all the time. Its called Hughes Electrical and Electronic Technology.
If you want to know where to order parts try www.rapidelectronics.com. Its a really good service.
depends on what you require, basic theory, op-amps, logic - TTL CMOS etc
plenty of good sites for beginners on the web, invest in a ream of paper and a refill for your printer.
I'm not being funny, writing notes in the margin is bit awkard on a monitor!
you could also try Amazon's second hand department.
I found a couple of ttl cookbooks in a local charity shop 50p each , bargin!
A good trick is download a freeware image grabber and set it trawl the net for electronic circuit diagrams.
I use PIC grabber because not only will it retrieve gif/jpg files it will also find pdf documents.See how different people solve similiar problems.
Books that I've obtained from Radio Shack here in the US, by Forrest Mimms seem to be a great place to start for some. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) has numerous publications including the Radio Amateur's Handbook. The Radio Society of Great Britain (RGSB) is likely to be well equipped. There might be local clubs or flea markets where you could obtain low cost but useful materials and possibly network with others like yourself. Many amateur radio operators do not have EE degrees but do have a strong desire to learn about electronics.