Read, read, and read. That said, I'm as guilty as anyone for getting a little ahead of myself and "tossing the instructions". I do kind of wish there was one good concise "beginner's ABC's to Mint" somewhere. Maybe I've just missed it.
Am humbled and blown away to know there are such unselfish and generous people in this world. Such as the inventor of gnu, linus torvald and the opensource community. It's mind blowing and heart warming, to know there are people who value some things more than $.
I've only been converted to Linux for three weeks.
Since my introduction is yet fresh, I have just a couple of general notes.
Don't expect the worst. LInux's association with geek poses a psychogical hurdle on it's own, but should be less the case with a distro like Mint. I downloaded, installed, took a deep breath, and then expected the worst... since I'm ham-handed when it comes to technical details. Because of that I literally overlooked what was right in front of me while expecting that it would be much harder. I spent hours tracking down and attempting to install the drivers for my external wireless device before learning that they were already installed in mint and waiting for me to just invoke them by plugging in my device. After that lesson I just plugged in my printer usb cable and was printing within 30 seconds! I wasted time all over other linux forums and in this forum searching for ways to install various tools when they, or perfectly acceptable versions of them, were already available for easy GUI installation via the Package Manager.
Spend some time browsing through the applications .. menu>applications>all. I noticed that a really nice little screen-capture utility was right there waiting for use! Then go and look around the menu>system>softwaremanager. There is a wealth of tools in there.
Much of the information returned from google searches for getting started in linux on the net, while not literally outdated (it still applies of course and can be applied to Mint if you want to learn more fundamentals or just like doing things the 'hard' way) has been made MUCH easier to do for you in Mint. Take the time to search for the simplest solutions here in the forum and it will often reveal something surprising in Mint.
For someone as only basically competent as myself to be this comfortable, and not missing windows even a little, within three weeks, is pretty remarkable.