I think that books can be a huge help. If you get something that works on the basics of english riding, like the Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship, for example. It goes through everything from stable management to items of tack, etc, etc and so on. It's wonderful. I've had my Manual since I was 10 years old and occasionally still reference to it (though it's a little dated now).
Honestly, my advice to you would be to find a good riding school in your area and book in for one or two lessons a week for a couple months. Before you start looking at individual disciplines like jumping or dressage. A good riding school will give you proper grounding in English riding. It's always better, in the beginning, to get into a group lesson. You can watch other riders of your level, listen to what the instructor is telling them, and you. It also makes it less intense, giving you time to get your bearings as it were, then later, when you're feeling more confident with the new style of riding, you can move onto getting private lessons.
Just my two cents:)
It is not 'cool' to ride without a helmet! period.