Maybe thats where i've been going wrong. I use tutorials on Youtube but its aggravating to keep switching from AE to YT. Trying to find actual books is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
I've read Youtube comments that state the tutorials are not for copying click-for-click, but to understand how people do things and apply them to your own project. Sadly, it's a valid point. I'm not belittling you, I've tried AE tutorials myself and I find Youtube to be a pain in the backside unless it's one specific technique I'm trying to teach myself, especially sub-consciously thinking "how can I apply this in other projects". It just takes time and persistence.