This is just my experience:
I bought "Getting Started Knitting Socks" and I started reading it, and nothing happened. Then I bought "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" by Cat Bordhi and I was inspired. It sounds like a book for people who are already knitting socks, but it's not. It has great drawings and good explanations. There ARE SEVERAL TYPOS which could really confuse a beginner, like reverse directions for what to do if your gauge is off: it tells you to go up a needle size when you should go down, and vice versa. You can get all the errata from Cat Bordhi's website. Other than that, I love the book, and I'm knitting my third sock.
"One can never have enough socks."
A. Dumbledore, Book One, Chapter 12