When I moved into my first apartment, my mom and stepmother both gave me cookbooks - The Joy of Cooking and the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I've used the Betty Crocker cookbook the most. It has a lot of basic information on foods, menus, etc., in addition to great, tried-and-true recipes.
I've collected a lot more cookbooks since then
Used bookstores, yard sales and second-hand stores like the Salvation Army stores are good places to get good cookbooks.
I also have three 3-ring binders that I put recipes into - one for recipes I want to try, one for sauces, condiments, stocks, etc., and one for the bulk of the recipes I get from the Internet or cut out of magazines, newspapers, etc. Those I tape onto a sheet of paper and file in the big binder by type of dish (appetizers, main dishes-meat, main dishes-poultry, etc.).