How on earth do rune pages work?

I'm quite new to the game, as Is apparent by the number of help and support pages I've created... xD I've been told my numerous friends and a dozen players I shouldn't buy champions at my level, and simply save IP for runes. Is this true, and if so which ones should I get? - I can list who I play/want to play if thats any indication of which runes I should choose, but I dont want the runes I choose to be so specific. - Can someone explain? >U<
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