I thought about buying a frame and then constructing a road bike from that, getting parts one by one and doing sort of a "work in progress" thing with it. This would also be a great opportunity to learn the true mechanics of a road bike as well as enjoying riding it even more by knowing I built it.
What are some good books/pamphlets/literature out there for this?
While reading a book (or books) will help, there's nothing like hands-on experience and the ability to ask questions. Recommend you sign up for one of the 4 (or 5) day Park Tool Classes offered by various (and hopefully local) bike shops.