I read through a bunch of different books, and found that The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams was the best. It presents the concepts simply and plainly and uses a lot of illustrated examples.
Since typography is a big part of graphic design, I also recommend you read a book on typography. Luckily, Robin Williams has written just such a book, and there is a single volume that contains both the Design and Type books. This is a must-read for any interaction designer or front-end developer. But anyone who puts together a newsletter or resume or party invitation or greeting card would benefit from it.
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