Reading was a very rare skill in the middle ages and a common blacksmith's son certainly wouldn't have been literate.
You can open a book and try to make sense out of the glyphs, but in the end you will have to find someone who can teach you at least the basics of reading.
Once you've acquired the skill of reading, you should make use of it. You can read descriptive books if you wish:
But the true wealth of learning lies in skill books:
Of course, it's not entirely easy to learn from books - to fully understand the text, you have to have very good reading skills and read books repeatedly. The quality of your reading is also influenced by the environment you read in. Generally speaking, a place that's good for rest is also good for study. You can tell you've found a suitable place from the icon that appears next to your Health indicator: