Search the web for an older (cheaper) version of Paradox - say, version 8 or 9 (current is 11). I'm currently redoing a non-profit's membership application from Wretched Excess to Paradox 9. Corel made versions 10 and 11 not available stand- alone, but only with purchase of the "Pro" version of WordPerfect Office.
and follow their directions to get to the "pnews" newsgroup server. There is a lot of info on that web site, and a great array of helpful talent on hte newsgroups. The Paradox community is extremely helpful to beginners, and has been for years. For some reason the MickeySoft products have never developed the same level of independent community support that Paradox has had since the days of Borland and version 3 for DOS and Compuserve forums.
One of the biggest problems I see newcomers to relational databases have is in database design. Use the newsgroups, and read the articles at Dennis Santoro's site on relational data design and general Paradox tips, before firming up your table structures.
I've played around with Access since version 2.0 - and stopped after getting Office 2000 Pro and VB 6.0. If you get into programming (and most folks do, a little, if they want anything beyond the plain vanilla canned features available in ANY of the PC relational databases, at least in those that CAN be programmed) I believe you'll find the Paradox language MUCH clearer than the Visual Basic hodge-podge. And the help available VERY MUCH better.
The community barn raising spirit still thrives in Paradox users - lots of expensive professional database programmers give lots of free help at the pnews newsgroups. Corel [cnews] also has a set of newsgroups for various Paradox versions and topics, but it went to "moderated" a few years back and in large part due to the delays that introduced most folks migrated to pnews (the Paradox Community groups, although Corel's lawyers, like UPs with idle hands, complained about that name.