When learning about astrology, it's helpful to have one big book on the subject to use as a reference. There are many good books on specific topics, but harder to find a high quality book that covers all aspects of astrology.
A good beginning book has interpretations that are written in everyday language, is organized well, and has lots of juicy insights about relationships. To qualify for a permanent spot on the bookshelf, it should have sections with advanced astrology for that point in time when you're ready to go further.
Here are three good overall books that offer an introduction to astrology.
This book by Julia & Derek Parker is one of my favorites, partly because of its wonderful images. It's a colorful picture book, as well as being full of concise information. It begins with the history of astrology and an overview of the solar system, and then introduces the foundational concepts. The essence of each aspect of astrology is captured well, along with artful illustrations and photo collages on every page.
This book includes a section on how to cast your own birth chart. There's also a user-friendly planetary aspect finder in the back, and astrological tables to use to look up your natal planets.
I'd say this bestselling book by Joanna Martine Woolfolk lives up to its title. I've always found her style to be generous, as if she wants to see the best in each sign. She writes like an old friend that has thought-provoking insights to share.
This book has in-depth profiles of all the Sun signs, but goes beyond into the other planets as well. It is full of gems of astrological truth, especially in the area of love and romance. It ventures into history, myth, birth chart interpretation and more, but never becomes too technical or esoteric as it gets into more complex topics.
This is both an introduction to astrology and a workbook for understanding your own birth chart. It is for someone that is prepared to take a more contemplative approach. If you've got the time and inclination, this book starts at the beginning and expertly guides you toward a full understanding of your birth chart.
The authors taught astrology and know how to introduce the topic step-by-step. This workbook is ideal for those that want the freedom to come up with their own interpretations. The basic qualities of the signs and planets are given, but there is space for personal insights, as well as journal entries.