The Bead Directory by Elise Mann is an impressive book as a resource and for dreaming. It's spiral bound so it can lie flat, and each page has 3 different types of beads all neatly categorised by type, the descriptions are wonderful and there are color photographs. The sidebars have easy to read symbols which show the drilling direction, the shape, the weight, the price range and the numbers of beads to the inch.
I found a lot of beads in it I've never seen and we've got some great local bead stores! Fortunately there is a resource list in the back of the book, along with some great tips for designing.
It's a lovely book just to look at, and something that makes a great resource. I admit though, I kind of use it like a Wish Book, just for the eyecandy.
If you want to order it from Amazon, here's that link.