I am also a beginner. There is a lot of truth in "practice, practice, practice," but I've also found a lot of value in reading. .
I'm not sure if you are familiar with a book 'Zen in the Art of Archery ' by Eugen Herrigel? This is perfect example how somebody who didn't understand Japanese language and culture, made up some artificial, wrong concepts and applied it to the Art.
Then he wrote a book. Then the million people read it and adopted his vision. Nobody ever questioned themselves "Is it true what the author wrote?" Because it is written in the book, it was taken for granted. The result is that until today, the image of Kyudo is completely deformed, and a lot of people practice simply wrong stuff.
Exactly same mechanism can be found in aikido. Western pioneers in aikido with small amount of training and with lack understanding of Japanese culture and history wrote few books full of misunderstanding, misconceptions and simply wrong ideas. Then million people read it until today and some of them, without any actual training come to Aikiweb to lecture us what aikido is, and what we have to do to understand it.
What arrogance! Particularly considering that some members of this forum have 30 years or more daily practice on the tatami….
Reading all these books didn't even teach them one basic thing - what the "Etiquette" is in martial environment. They feel safe insulting others, sitting safely in their bedroom.
No, Linda, as you can see, reading books doesn't do any good. In contrary, it creates false certitude "I know something about aikido".