I'm also curious where everyone got his/her electronic expertise from.
When I was a kid in grade school, I was always pestering neighbors and friends for their electronic junk; stuff that they would normally throw away. I would also scrounge in the garbage for it. Some of this junk I still have to this day (!). I would take it home, tear it apart, and then play with it.
My parents bought me a few of those ###-in-one kits from Radio Shack (which kinda shows how old I am!), and I also played with weird things hooked up to my computer (a TRS-80 Color Computer with 64K of RAM) - I even managed to build my own light gun that hooked to the joystick port, and programmed a simple shooting game in BASIC (both items I still have, packed away somewhere).
But honestly, I never really understood what things did or how they worked. That had to ultimately wait until after high school.
I ended up leaving my hometown of Bakersfield, California a week after graduation to go to a tech school here in Phoenix, Arizona named "High Tech Institute"; it was basically a DeVry that focused on the hands-on electronic stuff, rather than the business acumen (which DeVry, at least then, focused on, from what I've gathered from graduates of that school). Looking back on it, I can honestly say I made a mistake choosing that route instead of going to an actual college/university - but I didn't really realize this until I was older, had my career (software development), and a small pile of debt (credit cards and mortgage, basically - I paid off my student loans, such as they were, fairly rapidly).
However, with that said, HTI showed me the hands-on stuff I wanted to know in order to successfully design and interface digital circuits with computers, and build robots and other fun things. Aside from having the Associates degree from there, nothing I learned there have I really applied in my career as a software developer (I already had those skills mostly in place when I got my first development position; the rest I learned on the job and on my own). I could've probably excelled in an actual university or college setting, but my lazy streak is a mile long and got the better of me.
If you want an excellent book, though, to get you started in electronics, you couldn't do much better than Grob's "Basic Electronics"; it won't be cheap (it is a textbook, after all), but you might be able to find a fairly decent older edition cheaply somewhere. It is the book to read if you want to pick up the basics, theory, and math behind both passive and active basic electronic components, as well as other topics of importance.
After that, the resources that have already been posted are good for follow on. You also can't go wrong with picking up anything by Steve Ciarcia (especially once you gain more experience).
Finally, if your interests lie toward robotics, there are a ton of books out there that I could recommend. I won't list them all here (unless you or someone asks) because there are so many; but getting the first, second and third editions of "Robot Builder's Bonanza" is a must (each is different from the others - the third departs the most from the first, but they are all good to have on hand, IMHO).
I also must say that I have learned a lot on these forums, too, when it comes to electronics; there is something good to be said about this community. Just don't expect us to do the work for you, and you'll get good results and questions answered very quickly.
Good luck, and have fun!