Please bare in mind that I changed 75 bird cages a day and 50 of those held breeding pairs. Birds are NOT my favorite!
You should start with a young bird. Yes, they are easier to train if you start young and the bird should bond to you. It should be just done being hand fed and eating mostly millet and just a little seed when you get it. If you can, pick your bird before all of it's feathers have completely come in and help with the hand feeding once or twice a week. It will hekp with the bonding.
Being as I just love birds so much, I have absolutely no desire to read about them, so I am not sure about a good book to get. If you do a google search, you should be able to get plenty of sites that will either give you some ideas on books or teach you what you want to learn.
DO NOT buy a bird from someone online or a big box petstore. PetSmart, PetCo and Petland are the worst places in the States to buy crickets from, let alone something you would like to have as a pet.
Check around for Bird Shows (yes, there is such a thing!) or find a small mom and pop type petstore that sells birds. Talk to the owner and see where they get their birds from . I know that one local store here often has Cockateils and Parakeets and the occasional finches and Lovebirds. The owner has a couple of ladies in the area that he gets his birds from. And YES, he has been to see the Aviaries that these birds come from.
Hope that helps. (Wouldn't you rather have a cat?