I never was much of a paper folder until we read about Japan in history with my older son. We checked out an origami book and video and my son and I were both hooked. He turned out to be surprisingly adept for a then-four-year-old at origami and I discovered that I could actually fold all kinds of different things.
And we still love origami. It's quiet, easy to take along, and people are unreasonable impressed with nearly anything my son folds. We have many origami books and everyone knows that origami paper is always a welcome gift at our house.
We had the best luck starting with an origami video. After watching a couple of them, we didn't have any trouble with the beginner origami books. We also have found lots of websites that have been helpful. We especially love paper airplanes. Just as long as they don't end up in the hair of the person sitting in front of us on the airplane. I don't know how to apologize in very many languages.