Oh the books were out there that promised that kind of winning. And I was naive enough to believe them.
Nothing beats straight out playing. For a long time, I would read a book, then go play and have the worst session of my young poker life.
I couldn't figure out what the problem was. My solution was to not read books before any major playing session.
What I slowly began to realize is that I needed to look at poker book education like a tree. Think of the branches as the books and the concepts from the books as fruit.
You choose the best "fruits" from these books that hook into your game.
I read Power Holdem by Negreanu -
Now, I am not a Negreanu fan by any means. In fact, at times, I think he is a spoiled, sniveling brat, however I expected to play "just like him" when I read the book.
I am not him though, I am myself and when I read these books, I started to realize that I need to pick the concepts that best fit how I am as a person to be able to play my best poker.
I no longer look at a poker book like it is the gospel according to whomever wrote the book. But more like a book that gives concepts that can help me with my game.
I have not picked up a book at all in the last 4 months about poker. In fact, the last book I read was Tendler's second book on Poker.
I do have about 15 or so books on my iPad, of which, 10 or so are unread, but I have not really felt like I needed to read then to increase my skill at cards. I seem to be learning more by playing versus reading.
Bottom line is that while yes, it is good to read up on strategy - DON'T neglect the need to play poker as well.