@Terence Cheesman said it pretty well! To add in, nowdays you get very far by searching the internet. Lots of resources and even books are available for free. I like a book in hand but I think it's more a matter of preference as today you have the luxury to choose. As a collector I believe you SHOULD consider buying coins as an investment! Buying the nicest coins you can afford will keep you away from regrets, and will pay dividends every time you look at your collection. Most important, have fun!