I have started for about a few months, for different reasons, but starting out is not easy. I wonder what others think about this because when learning maths or programming I found it alot easier to find teaching material. With illustrator I feel like the explanations are very very short and dense. I recently just found this link:
Yes, AI's help file seem to be very good and thorough. If you already paid for AI (assuming you did), there's no reason to spend money on a book that explains the same thing again, but just maybe using different wording - unless, of course you are a book collector, or like the smell of new books (which I do).