So whats the best books for Chess beginners? Well i own well over 50 chess books and yes i do read them much to my GF displeasure. But Chess books are cheap and plentiful.
In fact it is easily forseeable that well over two hundred and fifty THOUSAND chess books have been printed (in diff languages), so what is the best books in my opinion for beginners.
* First Book; Graham Burgess, The Mammoth Book of Chess, 9780762437269, 2009 revised. Well over 500 pages of amazing chess ideas and knowledge, you simply gotta have this book; the bonus is you will use it for the rest of your chess career = forever.
* Second Book; Bruce Pandolfini, Pandolfini's Ultimate Guide to Chess; 9780743226172, 2003. This book takes you through a chess game and tells you why and how decisions are made; a bonus is it discusses the best White Opening = the Scotch Game. (get this book at the same time as you get the Graham Burgess first book).
Once you have read and re-read those two books and played a bit of chess then consider another three books.
These are for more experienced players, they contain a lot of 'advanced' ideas and material.
Book 3; The Amateur's Mind by Jeremy Silman.
Book 4; A guide to Chess Improvement by Dan Heisman.
Book 5; Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman.
It is better to have fewer books and re-read them over and over to reinforce that knowledge than to own 50 books like i do and cannot re-read them all :)
Remember even if the author is very good and these authors are very good you will forget or misunderstand most of a book or it will simply be to advanced for you. That is why you should play and re-read the material over and over.
It is a waste of your precious time to get into books that are to advanced for your playing strength (chess rating). That is why i recommend you avoid books by John Watson or John Nunn; indeed much of Jeremy Silman is to advanced for novices as well.
There is an "old-saying" that if you find a book on 'Magic' and open it and try and understand that book it will scramble your brains. The same is true for chess books reading material that is to far over your strength and experience will damage your overall chess development.
What i am saying is Jeremy Silman, John Watson and John Nunn and many others are great authors but their books are aimed at very experienced players and thus are counter-productive to chess beginners...
Just my opinions and do not worry if you practice and apply yourself you will be ready for these other authors in a few years in fact there books will become mandatory reading for your later chess career :)
Remember remove your errors and have fun... ;)