Since it is the off season, it's a good time for some sailing reading. Here's two books I like.
The first is "Getting Started in Sailboat Racing" by Adam Cort and Richard Stearns. This is the book I use as a reference for teaching introduction to racing. The book is written as a guide for the competent sailor to make their first steps into racing. As a result the style is very simple and straight forward. They do not use any jargon or exotic language, and they explain every aspect of racing very thoroughly. The diagrams are simple and complete and add to the text extremely well. At the end of each chapter there is a question and answer section that discuses the topics covered and ensures the reader understands the topic. The authors have also inserted some humor in the form of banter between them selves that plays out over the course of the book. All in all I think that this is the best book to read to prepare for your first race.
The second book is "The Blue Book of Sailing" by Adam Cort. In this book the author sets out to discuss the "22 keys to sailing Mastery". He discusses topics relevant to both keel boats and dinghies, ranging from using sail trim to aid steering and docking under sail and power. He does this in the same simple and straight forward manner that makes the book a pleasure to read. He tackles some heavy theory and does it with simplicity and flair. Adam Courts humor and wit also shine through in this book. I heartily recommend that any dingy or keel boat sailor read this book as well.
Both books are available from the Vancouver Public Library, or at least they will be as soon as I return them.