I learned chess when I was about 5 years old and my brother and I went through a huge chess phase where we had many of the major openings fully committed to memory and competed in a few tournaments throughout the Bay Area. We took a break for a few years and then sort of revamped our game, going to a few more tournaments and starting to read some of the more famous chess books and what not. I left for boarding school, so we've both nearly stopped playing. I'm starting to get back into it and want to know if you have any recommendations of any interesting chess books I should read, online sites I should check out (other than chess.com and instant chess), or really anything to improve my game. Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions!
When I was in the same situation, Jeremy Silman's How to reassess your chess helped me a lot. It made me reconsider the basics of the game. I now have a much better undertanding of what goes on during a game, and I got from 1700 to 2000 Elo in the process. Just don't take his method too literally (he recommends making up "dream positions", which is just not my thing).
If you want to get better then start playing a lot. Play play play. Enter in tournaments when you can. Sure, study books ... but for some people that can be tedious and a passion killer. Compete, be competitive, play strong people. Like they said above ... since every game is written down ... analyze analyze analyze your games and improve. This will guide your study and motivate your study. Then you can come on here with part of your game and people can say ... "this is the problem". Hope that helps. I used to play a lot and you can see me at http://www.uschess.org/component/option,com_wrapper/Itemid,181/ and entering Gang, Damon so I know something of what I'm saying.