The `Dummies' series of books can be a bit hit and miss depending on the subject, but this is one instance where they've got it just right.
It's pitched at exactly the right level in my opinion. The structure is superb, so that depending on your familiarity with a particular part of the software, you can dip in and out as required, without having to read the whole book from start to finish.
All the essential bits of InDesign are covered, and the index is also great for clarifying things as you work through the actual software. Just don't expect it to make you a graphic designer - no handbook in the world will do that, but what it will do is break down all the elements of this powerful tool to make your first steps into layout just that little bit easier.
Of course, there is no substitute for a proper training course and the experience acquired from many hours in front of a monitor, but this is still an indispensible book for any beginner.
Having for the first time to edit pages that had been laid out by a designer using InDesign, rather than QuarkXpress (with which I was familiar), I was finding it a very steep learning curve. I thought the solution would be this book. It is of course aimed at people starting to do the layouts themselves, and maybe it would be fine for that. But for me, desperate to find quickly how things work, and how to troubleshoot when things go wrong - i.e. when the Tool panel and the Control panel unaccountably vanished today - I have found it totally frustrating. The index does not seem to work like my brain, so I can never find what I want. When I have eventually worked out, by trial and error, how to sort something, I have had to write my own notes in the book!