The topic header might be a bit ambiguous and rage-inducing, so let me clarify it for you before I end up with life threats I have only recently put my foot in the waters of game development, and it's mostly theoretical stuff about it. My story with programming -and desire to develop games- though has begun at least 6 years ago, in High School, in an extracurricular class, but that was mostly Pascal-based procedural algorithms. Lately, and after finding a few good men who would like to join me in my quest (and they are serious about it) to learn and finally develop a game or two, I started putting a more serious effort in it. Before you bash me about gathering a small team when even I can't stand on my feet, I have to say that it's just two friends (one is a coed of mine in Physics school) and it really helps keep the motivation up, since we insist on learning together and every time someone gets disappointed, another member of the trio keeps him enthusiastic.
Now, on to the actual question. Since I have fallen flat on my face many times when I thought making a small game would be a piece of cake, I have gotten a more realistic picture of what is in store for us. So, I wanted to start from the basics: learn a programming language, and learn it really, really well. I know I can't master it in the next 5 or even 10 years, but I want to achieve a solid understanding of its elements. That language is C++. I know it's rough and low-level and I didn't pick it because 'it's what the pros use'; I actually love it with all its shortcomings, and I find its attention to detail to be parallel to game development itself. Thus, I shelled out some cash to pick a book after some brief research: that book is C++ Primer, 5th Edition. I have to say it is pretty readable and goes very deep where it is needed, so no complaints about the book itself. It's me who has the problem. Whenever I establish a good reading routine, some kind of OCD kicks in and all in all, I give up. What usually happens is that I read a lot of material, and even if I leave it for a couple of days because of college work, I believe I will forget everything and insist on starting all over again. And yeah, I do most of the problems in the book and write my own code. Also, whenever I get stuck at something I don't understand, I get disappointed. This pattern repeats and it is usually one or two month gaps that I don't do any work. The result? I end up actually having to re-read.
This may be suited better for a psych forum, but before I visit the shrink with such a ridiculous problem, I wanted to ask you people. Which do you think is the best way to absorb the material of such a big book? Do you have to actually understand every single line to even consider stepping into a game development framework? Or can someone go through the book once, fully understand the basic concepts like OOP, and just hop up in the pages again if further reading is needed?