I thought we needed a subject line in the Beginners' Forum about Star Charts. Possibly, it will balloon out into a lot about them, but at least I thought some recommendations might be in order.
First off, for me personally, the first level of star charts that I have used for as long as I have been doing astronomy is Sky and Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas. There are a number of other good ones that maybe some other members can talk about, but the one from Sky and Telescope seems to fit my eyes at night the best. The size of individual charts is about like a half sheet of regular typing paper. The cover and pages fold back on the ring binder. This makes the document easy to handle while at the eyepiece. The sheets are treated in some way that makes them somewhat resistant to water (like dew) but not completely impervious. I have gone through several copies, and it is the one I still go back to. I am not sure what the price is supposed to be, but you can normally buy one at Amazon for under $15.
There are some star maps that can be gotten on-line and printed out. Most notably to me is the Mag 7 star charts that can be found in the files on the Cloudy Nights Forum. These are free, other than whatever it costs to print them out. Naturally, using them on your computer does not cost anything.
A gentleman, named Toshimi Taki, has done a couple different Star Atlases. One goes to Mag 6.5, I have found this one, but have not used or even looked at it yet. The other is an atlas that goes all the way to magnitude 8.5 for stars. I have this set and have been studying it recently. This set may have enough stars and other objects in it to confuse a complete beginner for a while, but I ran into a situation last night where the details in my Sky and Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas did not have quite enough detail for what I was trying to do. If I had Mr. Taki's Mag 8.5 atlas with me I would have been able to see what was going on and proceed to the right spot in the sky and wait for a very dim object to show up in my vision.
Mr. Taki's Mag 6.5 Star Atlas can be located at: http://www.geocities...tlas/atlas.htm It has 12 pages that print out vertically on regular sized typing paper.
The Mag 8.5 Atlas is: http://www.geocities...85/atlas_85.htm
The Mag 8.5 version prints out about 150 vertically on regular sized typing paper, plus there are instructions, indexes, and tables as well.