:A Handbook of Rune Magic
by Edred Thorsson
The most comprehensive and worthwhile book on the runes ever written? If not at the top of the list, it is up there with Freya Aswynn's 'Leaves of Yggdrasil' (which we are trying to track down copies of).
This book covers the basics and leaves room for the reader to become a practitioner should they have the resilience to stick with the practices outlined herein.