I read a lot of books pertaining to programming and web technology. Unfortunately keeping up with the tech world is a never ending battle, but it is a necessary evil. One of my down falls has always been web design, I can usually code a back-end just great, but coming up with a nice UI will give me the equivalent of writers block in a hurry. One of the big issues I found was I simply didn’t have the tools to turn a design I came up with into a clean, usable UI for my sites. I did your typical noob html layout for a long time, nested HTML tables with lots of spacer gifs. There had to be a better way. Enter CSS, cascading style sheets.
I picked up a book called Bullet Proof Webdesign by Dan Cederholm (0321509021). All in all this is a really great book for someone that has done little to no CSS, but is pretty familiar with HTML concepts. After reading this book a chapter a night I was able to do just about whatever I needed to with CSS. The whole book is based around the “old” way of doing things (like I mentioned above) and the correct way. I highly recommend this book!