The book is a fairly complete compendium of information on canoes, paddles & accessories.
However, if you're a beginner, beware that the recommendations & necessities expressed in this book may seem so numerous, expensive & daunting that you may hesitate to buy a canoe after all.
My recommendation for beginners: Borrow or rent a canoe, paddle & life-vest, & try canoeing to see if you like it. Chances are that you will if you appreciate a craft that offers silence, speed & maneuverability with relatively little effort. Try it in good weather on a lake, a bay or a slow moving river; don't head for the white water on your first time out.
With a little experience under your belt, you'll be able to better understand what the book is trying to tell you. You'll also be in a position to determine for yourself how many of the author's recommendations & imperatives work for you, & progress into canoeing at your own speed & budget.