The Tuning of the World - R. Murray Schafer - This is not about audio, but about Sound ! The history and present state of the Soundscape - the acoustic environment we live in. The best foundation and grounding I know of to prepare one for venturing into the wild and wooly realms of audiophilia.
Music, Acoustics and Architecture - Leo. L. Beranek (1979) A wonderful book that explains the various aspects of acoustics that make a concert hall good or bad: reverberation, initial time delay, reflection, dispersion, diffraction, absorption and more. It's been a long time since I read this book, and it's not that easy to find, but well worth it, from one of the leaders in the field.
Music, Cognition, and Computerized Sound: An Introduction to Psychoacoustics - Perry R. Cook (1999) - Explains the basic physiology and functions of the ear and auditory sections of the brain, psychoacoustics, including cognitive psychology and the physics of sound, with a particular emphasis on music and computerized sound. Includes an excellent bibliography and an audio CD with many sound examples to illustrate the text.
Master Handbook of Acoustics * - F. Alton Everest - Good for learning all you would like to know about room acoustics (in English measurements only).
Good Sound - Laura Dearborn (1987) - Nontechnical, and dated, but the book has considerable detail and was written for the dedicated, rather than the casual, audiophile. It only touches on early, bad sounding CDs and has nothing to speak of on current digital audio, but what is there is still, amazingly, relevant today. Covers the foundations of achieving good reproduced sound: Equipment, Setup, and Recordings.
The Complete Guide to High-End Audio * - Robert Harley & Keith Jarrett - Technically flawed, but the only current book available on High-End Audio equipment. And Harley is no Harry Pearson...
Audiogon - The high end audio marketplace
Audio Shopper - high end classifieds since 1995
AudioWeb - used, new, and reviews
Higher Fi - and higher $$ for sure !
'The Audio / Electrostatic Circuit - All things electrostatic that move air Highly recommended. But you have to navigate through the site every time, since it uses HTML Frames, and you can't bookmark specific pages.
The turntable I lust for ----->
And the arm for it...
Homemade air-bearing arm
Rob Gold's 'Red Wing' Teres turntable
Rob's Ribbon / dipole cones speaker project
Richard Marsh Electronics
Spectral and Dynamics Comparisons of LPs vs digital formats !!
Amazon - Cheap CDs and the best music shopping tools extant !
Music Direct - Audiophile recordings, accessories, and equipment
The Electronica Primer - Know the genre
Hearts of Space - Space music