Originally Posted by stan4
I've been interested for a long time and just uncertain how to get started (besides just reading books).
Hit the local library or bookstore and pick up the book NightWatch
. It's widely accepted as the unofficial beginner's guide, and is worth reading cover to cover. It takes you through all of the basics, and it's not a clinical read at all.
If you have a pair of binoculars, you can start tonight - 'binos' are a great way to view the night sky. Just find a comfortable lawn or lounge chair and a dark spot in your yard, out of the line of sight of any porch/street lights (if possible), and look up.
When you're ready to start looking for a scope, you can (and should) ask lots of questions here or elsewhere - there's a particularly popular forum site for astronomy, but I won't mention the name here - I don't want to break the C-D rules.
Choosing a telescope can be a formidable task - as someone new to the hobby (as I was several years ago), trying to understand all the specifications (e.g. aperture, focal length, focal ratio, equatorial vs. alt/az, etc.) and how they relate to your viewing experience can seem overwhelming at first. Don't give up, and don't be afraid to ask questions. It's a short learning curve and well worth the effort.