I think the info on the web and the videos here on KnittingHelp are a great way to learn. Do a plain sock with some ribbing on the leg as a start. Learn that socks are not that hard then go to the library or bookstore and buy books for the patterns.
By using the web resources if you find that you don't like socks, how could that ever happen, then you can frog the yarn and start something else. No cost lost.
Having said this the book mentioned above are great and so are many others out there. You can never have enough books, patterns or yarn.