Alpine Skiing, by Ronald Kipp - see on amazon.
One of the general and all purpose introductory books to skiing, one of the most complete, tackling everything from equipment selection, to fitness, to some basic ski instruction.
There are two parts to the book: a generic introduction and specific instruction.
After a quick history of skiing and a discussion of different types of skiing, he dives into the fitness aspect of skiing, where the author notes that "if you can walk a couple flights of stairs without major medical complications, you are ok". He then continues with an overview of some technical fitness items. I assume most would prefer to skip the technical section on fitness (like heart rates and such) and jump strait to the exercises, which are few but carefully chosen.
The equipment section is better organized and with more useful information than most other general intro books. While talking about choosing the skis, he then spends a few pages on boots and even binding mounting points, which is great information most newbies don't usually learn about.
He discusses ski boot selection and fitting at length, including canting and custom foot-beds.
I agree that everyone should take ski lessons from professionals. This section, while detailed, boils down to: go to the ski area and talk to their ski school about what lessons best fit your needs and it gives you some parameters of that discussion (levels, learning styles etc).
Part 1 finishes with a travelling tips section, complete with a packing checklist.
There's a lot of words, it's pretty verbose and the photos don't quite keep up with the text, so it's a little hard to follow. Te photos are also static (duh!) and somehow don't seem to convey the movements described in the text. Not sure what it is about them, maybe the range of movements is not big enough to make the technical elements described obvious?
I personally do not agree with the wedge progression anymore - I believe it to be a very weak position that leads to many injuries and also retards learning (see The Physics of Skiing (book review)). Wannabe skiers would be better served by picking a direct parallel progression.
The step up to "Christie" is similarly over-wordy and vey dense.
The serious talk now begins with a usual presentation of the "planes of motion". Why does everyone has to say "movement in the sagittal plane" instead of fore/aft? However, this time the photos are more in tune with the words and really aid in understanding.
The fairly technical discussion here includes ankle flexion and tip lead: the ankles must have the same angle and this leads to a natural leading with the inside ski, which in turn leads to a natural upper body position of the hips and shoulders facing more down the hill rather than say to the side, which is desired.
This section turned out to be quite interesting for me. It is intended for more advanced skiers - not sure then what the intended audience is for this book.
The book ends with a selection of web sites from all areas related to skiing.