Can you recommend good orchid books for beginners?
This question comes up a lot! The two most commonly suggested books are Ortho's All about Orchids and the Sunset publisher's book on Orchids. Several forum members, including me, are also quite fond of Orchids Simplified by Henry Jaworski.
FLAME 747 suggested "An Introduction to Orchids" published by the South Florida Orchid Society.
Other excellent sources include: Taylor's "All About Orchids" (great pictures);
Rebecca Northen's "Home Orchid Growing" Orchid Growing Basics (Schoser) Gardener's Guide to Growing Orchids (Ritterhausen) Orchid Growing for Wimps (Zachos) Jack Kramer's "Orchid Growing Indoors"
In addition, Mary Noble has several good books for beginners: You can Grow Orchids, You Can Grow Cattleya Orchids, and You Can Grow Phalaenopsis Orchids." All are excellent for the beginner.
If you want to know more about species, then The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids, edited by Alec Pridgeon is also a good source.
For a more detailed listing, and a suggested reading list for more experienced growers (intermediate level and advanced), check out Linda's Orchid Page at She has many good suggestions.