With sewing machines available everywhere – even in supermarkets they are easier to buy, but you won’t get the sort of service that a specialised sewing machine shop can offer. A knowledgable salesman cannot be replaced (I took my machine back to where I bought it a few years ago so they could show me how to use the button hole tool that came with it) but this book may help.
It starts out discussing the different types of machines available, and then goes through eveything from threading to types of needle. Most of the book is dediacted to sewing techniques such as inserting a qip which means it will still be useful once you are up and running with your machine. The book also has a chapter on overlockers (segers) which will be of great help to anyone who has enthusastically bought one then got stuck! A bargain £12.99 for all this knowledge!