Herb books are GREAT for medicinal properties assigned to herbs. They may give some other associations they have - planets, Gods, chakras, sepherot (and sometimes the books occassionally agree on what those associations are!).
But .... if you want to bond with the Spirit of the Herb/Spice/Resin .... that's a different thing. That takes some extra effort.
Yes, start with the book/internet knowledge. Especially find out if it's safe to take internally, because that's one technique we're going to discuss! Study. Memorize. Learn everything you can about the plant. Grow it if you can, or find it growing wild. If it's safe to take internally, eat or drink some of the plant. See what physical effects the plant has on your body. NOTE - IF THIS IS A KNOWN PSYCHOACTIVE PLANT, DO NOT NOT NOT DO THIS, ESPECIALLY AT THIS STAGE. DO THIS, FOR EXAMPLE, WITH OREGANO OR HOT PEPPERS, NOT WITH DATURA.
Oh, and you might ingest the plant in an orderly fashion, if possible. Leaves, seeds, bark, root all might have very different properties. Again - book knowledge first. The only part of, say, Poke weed that won't be toxic will be young shoots.
Make an offering to the spirit of the plant. Yes, it's best if you can leave it at the plant, and bonus points for finding it growing wild, but if it doesn't grow in your area that's okay. Explain your intention to the Spirit of the Plant, and that you're giving the offering as a token of your respect.
From here, move on to building up a good visualization of the plant. This would take me a week, but you might well be better at visualization than I am! I start with pictures on Google, then work on making them 'come alive'. You could make a sigil of the plant name, if you are inclined that way. I'm not a sigil person .... yet. Maybe I'll get there this life.
Finally, head into trance, hold that visualization or sigil, introduce yourself to the plant, and get to know it. What offerings does it like? What wisdom can it share with you? What plants/animals/spirits does it play nice with .... and which does it NOT play nice with?
Record this UPG (unverified Personal Gnossis) you get from the plant in your BOSL. Remember to give the plant an occassional offering, and an occassional visit - after working with it more you're likely to have more, not less, questions for it!