Many years ago my sister gave me an edition of NightWatch by Terence Dickinson as a birthday present. It sat on the shelf next to the manual for my ETX. But, once I started thinking about getting into astronomy as a serious hobby, I finally got around to reading it.
Additionally, I purchase a number of other general astronomy books:
- The Practical Astronomer
- The Stars
- Sky and Telescope’s Pocket Sky Atlas
- Turn Left at Orion
The Stars was a great primer on the constellations and had a excellent section on the whys and hows of astronomy. Turn Left at Orion was also excellent for its background knowledge and clear explanation on what you can see in the night sky.