The beginning of training is a very interesting and dynamic time of training.
One is literally re-programming the body and how it moves, discovering what was *lost*, following a completely different learning model compared with what many of us in the west are familiar with.
We say this because one can not learn the martial arts from any book or video- direct transmission is required. Not only so mistakes can be corrected- mistakes that can literally get one killed in a situation, but also in the transmission of the feeling in the martial arts.
One has to catch that feeling, and it can only be experienced through physical training with a guide.
That stated, books and training manuals *do* have a place as a reminder of concepts, and methods to practice the massive compendium of teachings as found and expressed in the Bujinkan and taijutsu arts.
Sometimes it is helpful to be reminded, or to have a list of ideas to work with a teacher on.
So what would a list of recommended books look like for a new student?
Keeping in mind price and availability.
Two sets of books by Masaaki Hatsumi.
The first would be Ninjutsu History and Tradition, along with Ninpo: Wisdom For Life.
History & Tradition has a great introduction regarding the history of the arts, followed by pictures and listing of some of the basic postures and training tools used in taijtsu- a framework from which to organize thoughts and movement, while Wisdom For Life offers insights regarding the philosophy of the art and movement.
The next set of books would be Unarmed Fighting Techniques Of The Samurai, Advanced Stick Fighting, and Japanese Sword Fighting.
These offer insights regarding the fundamental kihon movements, and the use of the stick and sword which are used as tools to explore and understand distance and timing.
Keep in mind that if such training funds are tight, it is always best to invest in physical training though regular dojo membership, seminars, and workshops- both as a chance to train, and later ask questions- catching the *feeling* of the Bujinkan.