I have been doing a lot of this lately...
That is my Nikon D7000 camera manual. And it's getting a lot of use as I try and learn how to use this camera that I've had now for several months!
I read a post from a friend of a friend and her thoughts about her transition to a DSLR describes exactly how I feel about my new camera!! High expectations for perfect photos (esp. when shooting in auto) and being disappointed with this new toy that I paid tons of money for!! I realized after shooting pictures at my brother's wedding and my niece's baby blessing, that I was going to have to buckle down and really learn how to use this camera and really work for those awesome shots! I can edit pictures in photoshop to make them look better, but I could make them look perfect and professional if I really learn how to use this piece of equipment better!
Recent investments included a 50mm f/1.8D lens, a tripod, and a remote. I also got a lightscoop, too, for times when I must use my flash (like when I'm trying to capture something Luke is doing and don't have time to mess with settings!). I'm already loving my new lens and the tripod/remote made my self-portrait shots so much easier! I'll still use my 18-105mm kit lens too, but it's going to take some more work and practice to get the kind of images I want from it. The 50mm lens is a bit easier to use and the pictures are already coming out much sharper.
I've found many great tutorials and links for improving ones photography. Many of them are pinned on my Photography board on Pinterest. I don't know what I would do without the internet--it's an endless source of knowledge and information and it makes something like learning photography so much easier!
Wish me luck as I continue to learn how to bust out awesome pictures! And look forward to photos from my practice shoots in the coming weeks!