I have just finished reading the book The Photographer’s Eye by Michael Freeman, and I think that this book provides an excellent material on composition, and offers a ton of useful advice followed by well illustrated examples. I would not recommend it as first book to read. For that purpose books by Scott Kelby will do the trick. The main thing that I like about The Photographer’s Eye is that Freeman approaches the subject from a very thoughtful perspective. While the book covers the basic elements (lines, shapes, dynamic tension, balance, etc.) he also talks at length about more emotionally-related issues: chiaroscuro and key, the search for order, reactive thought, etc. These are the concepts that more experienced photographers (and artists) find themselves confronting once they have a solid feel for design elements and construction. I particularly liked his approach on explaining in detail, how exactly does a human eye examine the picture and build emotion and perception of the picture quality. Regardless if you are an aspiring painter, or an enthusiast photographer, this one is definitely a keeper.
Michael Freeman wrote an excellent book on composition.