Best to leave the lens on; the more often you attach or remove a lens the more often you get dirt on the sensor. The manual is a good place to start for the body; if you put in D3100 manual in Amazon, several books on it come up. I don't have and have never touched a D3100, so perhaps others can offer their advice. As for general photography books for beginners, Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" is, IMHO, the best.
If you fill in your profile it will help to give you advice.
Thanks for filling out some of your profile. It will help us with future question.
But you've gotten some good advice already. I agree with the others that you should leave your lens on the camera. Only remove your lens when necessary, such as to change to another lens, or clean the camera. Every time you remove the lens you open it to dust and dirt.
I agree with Marty. Get a camera bag to hold your camera with lens attached. Get the micro fiber lens cleaning cloth and a Giottos Rocket Blower too.
Before you purchase anything else for your camera, become more familiar with it, and what it can do. Take lots of photos. Practice, practice, practice.
Like Jesse, I strongly suggest you download your manual from the Nikon Europe English language site. While you have a printed manual, having the pdf version of the manual permits you to use your computer to search the manual for specific entries.
Start familiarizing yourself with the camera's features and menus. Learn what the default settings of the camera are and what changes you can make in the way it's setup, so that in the future you can customize the setup to one that works best for you.
Since you're a beginner, I would echo Bruce's suggestion to get Peterson's Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera. It will help you get to the point you're comfortable taking the camera off automatic exposure so you can get the most out of it.
#3. "RE: starter advice" In response to Reply # 0 Sun 22-Jul-12 05:25 PM by MEMcD
Congratulations on your new D3100. Unless you have a specific reason for removing the lens when you are not using the camera, keep it on the camera. Get a camera bag that hold the camera with the lens attached. Something like the one of the Tamrac Holster Zoom Pack bags. I would also recommend getting a quality Micro fiber lens cleaning cloth and a Giottos Rocket Blower. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I downloaded my d3100 manual off of nikon's website, and have it on my iPad for viewing.
I read through a ton here at nikonians, which helped me out not too long ago, I also viewed YouTube, which some were terrible and others were great.
What also has helped me are working groups, check your local area and see what they have to offer. Flickr also has helped..whenever I see a photo that I like, I check it's exif data and try and duplicate. All of which leads to some sort of entertainment and makes taking pics of the family much more enjoyable.
Congrats on the 3100, I have enjoyed mine as well, so I am sure you will too. Very user friendly!
thanks again for all the advice, i had seen the digitutor guide before i bought the camera and many clips on youtube as i spent about 2 months researching this camera to decide if it was right for me, i have the full manual on my pc and am walking through it with the camera in hand, it would be great if everything i read stayed in my mind but it doesnt, but i am re- visiting what i have read and going over again and again, i have ordered a book from amazon also, so once i have gone through the manual, that is next, it will take time i guess but looking forward to learning, once i get stuck i will come back and ask for advice here. i will probably have a small notebook and keep making notes to refer to when out in the wide world.