I would say that the best map that I've found to date is the "White Mountain Trail Map" by Map Adventures. It offers a couple of helpful insets in areas of numerous junctions, very up to date trail names, mileage between "benchmarks" such as trail junctions or points of interest, and most slick of all, a waterproof coating!
Along with a map, you just need to get out there and experience it. If you plan to go with someone (highly suggested...company in the woods is good when you're starting off), tackle something slighlty more ambitious than you would going alone. Since you technically don't know your limits yet, you need to find them, so don't be ashamed to turn back or shorten your route plan. And as always, ALWAYS leave your trip details with a friend, family member, etc. This should include your exact planned route of travel, time you expect to be back, and any other important details about what you're planning.
Definitely check out what kinds of books you can buy through this site, too, as the proceeds benefit the OBS. Reading about the trails, mountains, history of the area, even the mishaps (as detailed in books like "Not Without Peril, by HOWE) can be very enlightening...careful, you'll get obsessed like a certain someone did some time ago...
Matthew I. Stearns