Charles Matthews wrote an excellent book on this topic, coincidentally called Shape Up!
It is available for free on the net, if you have a Gobase.org account simply grab it here, if not, Google should bring up something. To list a few of the ideas explained:
Part 1 of the book, "Principles of development", covers basic terminology (table shape etc.), wedge ...
A lot depends on your strength. I find that memorizing them is useful for me. I've also heard a lot of people suggest that you need to play them out on a real board. It helps teach your fingers where the pro moves are :)
If you're not a dan-level player, you probably shouldn't focus too much on fighting sequences - you won't be able to understand all of ...
I used to memorize games as a fairly large staple of my studies. Some general points:
1) The position at any point is approximately even. A "losing move" to a professional–one that everyone agrees is bad–is still probably close enough to even for anyone but a high-level dan. If you are at that point or getting close to it, be sure to look up the ...
Most pro games are fairly even until a "turning point." This is when one player makes a mistake, as related by the author of the game commentary, usually a pro. Sometimes the commentator is one of the players, who says, "I made move X that lost the game, or "My opponent's move Y lost him the game."
Then the thing to do is to study the game up to the turning ...
Another good way to learn shape is to play shape game against a stronger player. Stronger player plays white you play black. To start with black places stones along the 1st lines, one space apart:
$$Wc Shape game
$$ | . X . X . X . X . X . X . X . X . X . |
$$ | X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X |
$$ | . . . ....
I'd only offer a few more suggestions over those given so far.
The delightful book by Kageyama, Lessons In The Fundamentals Of Go. Besides being an excellent all round resource and pleasingly written, it has a chapter, ch8, on some fundamentals of shape. It may be too basic for your skill level, but it is a must read for any Go player in my opinion. Heres a ...
Yuan Zhou just published a book on this topic. Check out Slate and Shell for sample pages. I am a big fan of Zhou's books and will certainly buy this one. He has a nice way of writing towards kyu level players.
Title: Learning from Pro Games
Author: Zhou, Yuan
I'll second TimK's suggestion of Life and Death, particularly for developing a general approach, and also throw in a few others I've found useful:
The Korean Problem Academy is an excellent collection of progressively more difficult problems. The books themselves are the best way to go if you can find them, as they have no answer key but generally can be ...
Get Strong at Life and Death starts with a section on standard shapes. The second part of the book contains problems arising from joseki and joseki variations. This is an advanced book - aimed at dan-level players.
I am a novice player, so take everything I might say cautiously. But I have been working through "Invincible - The Games of Shusaku" by John Power and I think it has been helping me, even if there is a lot I don't understand yet.
It is mostly commentaries on games from Honinbo Shusaku, who is arguably one of the greatest Go players. The one thing to ...