I Ching An Introductory Guide to Working with the Chinese Oracle of Change
This book was written by Stephen Karcher and was published by Element. The book in its entirety is only one hundred and twenty two pages; however, it is packed with information about the I Ching and is filled with clear diagrams to explain the method of using the ancient I Ching in order to find advice about living your life. The author Stephen Karcher PHD is an internationally known writer, lecturer, and translator with over thirty years of experience in working with this ancient book. He is also the author of How to Use the I Ching, The illustrated Encyclopedia of Divination, The lover's I Ching, and the I Ching Kit. The book is devided into four basic sections: What Is The I Ching, The 64 Divinatory Figures, Further Reading, and a helpful index.
So if you have never heard of the I Ching in general what it is a 3000 year old book that was invented to talk with gods and spirits. The hope being that these supernatural forces can then offer inspiration and guidance to the communicator. In basics the book is a set of 64 divinatory figures. So really you don't just read the I Ching, you ask it questions and you get answers from it. When you ask it a question, it produces an answer by chance. You pick six colored marbles out of a basket, throw three coins six times, or divide and count out 50 yarrow-stalks. This chance event lets something else do the choosing (perhaps the spirits you've asked for guidance).
Then basically the I Ching uses these symbols to answer your question as you take your results and find their place on a hexagram chart. Once you have located the place on the hexagram you simply turn to the text that the number indicated. Your advice will be provided there.
So what does the advice look like? Each answer gives you a great deal of advice, starting with a basic statement such as keywords: wait for the right time. Attend to what is needed. This answer would then be followed by about a page of more indepth ideas about what is right for you at this time. In all there are 64 possible responses for your chance drawing and of course the book is basically a translation of, in very simple and quality English, these pieces of advice.
It is not really important whether you believe in the spirits that might be guiding this or not, this can be a fun little book to play with or it can be a wonderful starting point for conversation with a friend. It is also another way to learn about and better understand the ancient culture of China. I think if you know nothing about the I Ching, this book is the answer to learning a little and then you can take it for what it's worth to you.