Books and advice for beginners

I think the title really says it all.

I'm hoping to get into photography as a hobby, and before getting into the hardware aspect, I'd like to do a bit of reading.

So, to someone whose knowledge of photography is limited to the experience gained from using a crappy point and shoot and a bunch of phone cameras, what would you recommend?

Also, I'm not really sure if I have the budget for a dedicated camera, or given the prowess of the ones in our pockets at all times, the desire to spend a wad of cash so early in to a hobby I'm entirely new to. Of course, I plan on saving up and getting one eventually, but at the very start, that might not be the case. I know that smartphone cameras are frowned upon in general in photographer communities, but should this be the case, is there any other advice I should consider? Tips? Ideas? More books? Suggestions? Anything?