Here I am sitting at a mid 1300 rating. I use the ratings to let me know how I am doing and if I am improving. I have finished a little over 40 games now, Some were easy wins, some I worked hard at and thought my studies of tactics have come though and gave me an edge, and then there are the games that I got demolished. Those games are the ones that make me realize I need to learn more just to prevent those annihilation's.
So I continue to study tactics, because I still get caught in them and I know I must miss some in my games. I have the desire to expand my chess knowledge, but there are so many books out there, and a lot of them are really good and are highly recommended. I also believe that there is no such thing as a bad chess book, I know I might catch some heat for that statement. If you learn something from a book it makes it good. Of course we all want maximum learning from the time we spend on it. There is a saying one mans junk is another mans treasure, this holds true for chess books. One person might think a given book is great while another has trouble learning anything from it. This is because as humans we all learn in different ways and the way an author expresses his or her ideas makes it more effective for some than for others.
I check out the book recommendations on this site as well as amazon.com, probably one of the best sites for buying chess books at low prices. I read the reviews and a lot of books call out to me saying that this is the book I need to get better. Now I know this is why my last chess library had so many books. Books on my wish list to buy are an endgame manual, a must in the near future because maybe a third of my echess games get to an endgame position. I am leaning towards Silman's Endgame Manual. The other big hole in my game is strategy. I have seen Silman's The Amateur's Mind recommended highly. I do not know if this is a good place to start for strategy or if there is a more beginner book that I should read prior to talking this one.
I know some one will suggest My System, this is a book that I plan on reading in the future. I owned it before, and while I feel it is a great book, will be put off until I feel I am ready for it.
So easy to get overloaded on the information that is out there, any suggestions would be appreciated.