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I had been using Windows for over 10 years.
But I'm a beginner of using Mac OS.
Which books should I read to use and understand OS X very well.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I was in the same position ¾ years ago and went ahead and loaned Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual (Pogue, David. O'Reilly).

It introduced all basic things what an imaginary OS X Snow Leopard manual could had included, albeit it isn't written in a conventional manual style. It is good for OS X newbies, as I was, because it explains even some rather elementary features/operations.

The Missing Manual doesn't cover Windows vs. OS X in a too great detail, which is, in my opinion, good thing as it makes you learn OS X from the ground up and makes you work with your operating system more intuitively (ie. you don't think Windows operations first and then translate them to Mac OS operations, but rather think of how things are done in the Mac OS straight away).

The downside was that the basic aspects of OS X were rather easy to learn with 10+ years of experience of other operating systems. It also introduced the majority of bundle apps, of which some were uninteresting to me (like iChat). The book was relatively fast to skim through.

The best part was the 6-page keyboard shortcut appendix to which I returned more times than any other chapter.

I can recommend the book — perhaps not to be bought, but to be read. If your local library has it in its collection, it's worth a visit.

Note that OS X Lion is due to be released later in this month. I strongly recommend to hold back buying the book now: either wait for a massive price drop or buy the book used; or wait for Lion books to land, if you're about to upgrade.

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Now I'm reading Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual which you recommended. I just have read the first several pages but I've got a lot of useful knowledge from them. Thank you very much for your nice answer! – js_ Jul 15 '11 at 2:07

Check out Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Snow Leopard Edition:

Is Windows giving you pause? Ready to make the leap to the Mac instead? There has never been a better time to switch from Windows to Mac, and this incomparable guide will help you make a smooth transition. New York Times columnist and Missing Manuals creator David Pogue gets you past three challenges: transferring your stuff, assembling Mac programs so you can do what you did with Windows, and learning your way around Mac OS X.Learning to use a Mac is not a piece of cake, but once you do, the rewards are oh-so-much better. No viruses, worms, or spyware. No questionable firewalls, inefficient permissions, or other strange features. Just a beautiful machine with a thoroughly reliable system. Whether you're using Windows XP or Vista, we've got you covered.If you're ready to take on Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the latest edition of this bestselling guide tells you everything you need to know:Transferring your stuff -- Moving photos, MP3s, and Microsoft Office documents is the easy part. This book gets you through the tricky things: extracting your email, address book, calendar, Web bookmarks, buddy list, desktop pictures, and MP3 files.Re-creating your software suite -- Big-name programs (Word, Photoshop, Firefox, Dreamweaver, and so on) are available in both Mac and Windows versions, but hundreds of other programs are available only for Windows. This guide identifies the Mac equivalents and explains how to move your data to them.Learning Snow Leopard -- Once you've moved into the Mac, a final task awaits: Learning your way around. Fortunately, you're in good hands with the author of Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, the #1 bestselling guide to the Macintosh.Moving from Windows to a Mac successfully and painlessly is the one thing Apple does not deliver. Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Snow Leopard Edition is your ticket to a new computing experience.

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I agree, the Missing Manual books are excellent. Don't get both of them though; there is a lot of redundant content. – David Jul 9 '11 at 10:04
What are the differences between Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Snow Leopard Edition and Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual? Which book has more information about Mac OS? Maybe I don't need to know how to switch from Windows. I just need to know how to use mac. – js_ Jul 10 '11 at 8:09

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