If you only buy one guitar book...
...make it this one: Guitar, A Complete Guide For The Player
This book is amazing, my wife gave this to me as a Christmas gift. When I thumbed through it on Christmas and saw the tab and exersizes(sp) for different genre's of music I thought it would be good for a few licks. When I started to really look at it a couple weeks later I couldn't believe how informative it is. This book should be in every beginners library, that said, the intermediate guitarist who is looking to improve how his/her guitar sounds or just understand the how the guitar works will find a lot of material to work with. Here is a rundown of the book as I see it:
This section is an excellent place to start if your looking to buy your first guitar, you must match the kind of music you want to play to the guitar you buy or it will be a waste of money and you'll most likely quit playing.
Sound and Construction: Describes 7 of the most common guitar types, Classical, Steel-String Flat-Tops, Archtop Acoustics, Archtop Electrics, Solidbody Electrics, Semi-Acoustics, and Piez-Magnetic Hybrids.
This sections is a great overview of some of the most popular amps and effect on the market. It gives good detail on the circuit types and tube variations that make up different sounds.
Amps and Effects: Describes basic amp & effect types, Classic Tube Combos, Tube Hotrods (Channel switching, high gain amps), The Big Stacks, Solid State, Modeling Amps, Clasic Pedals, and Racks & Multi-FX.
This section is worth 10 times what you'll pay for this book. This book should be renamed THE GUITAR BIBLE because of this section. I learned so much from this section and will continue to refrence it in the future.
Maintenance: Stringing Up and Tuning, Set-up(this includes checking and adjusting the neck relief, nut heighth, playing action, string heighth, vibrato performance and adjustment, how to set intonation properly, how to install pick-ups both strat style and les paul style plus a lot more) Professional Repairs (what to pay somebody to do), Cleaning, also Care & Storage.
The rest of the book (150 pages or so)focuses on playing and is devoted to showing the guitar player 10 different genre's of guitar along with tabbed examples to practise and learn from. It allows all players to experience a different type of playing, it allows the beginner to play different types of music at a basic level and can help the intermediate and more advanced player break out of a rut with something new or just learn a little something about a different genre.
Play Guitar: Acoustic, Rock & Pop, Blues (excllent intro to blues), Country, Rock'n'Roll, Metal, Latin, African, Classical, and Jazz.
This book also has a glossary of common terms and an index to find information quickly. I will never get rid of this book it has already saved me a ton of time by showing me how to properly adjust the trem and properly clean the switches to make everything I play sound better (when I play it well that is).
This won't be the last book about the guitar that you buy, but it absolutely should be the first one you buy.
Hope this review helps you decide to purchase this book it is worth it.
Where am I going....and why am I in this hand basket?