When starting with Tarot, there are two main methods of learning as mentioned previously: memorizing each of the cards meanings, and reading intuitively. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
By memorizing each of the meanings, you can guarantee a more acurate reading, especially if your intuitive side is more under-developed. However, memorizing each of the card's meanings can be an overwhelming and tiresome task, and most people are so anxious to get started that they reduce the meanings to a mere few keywords, when in fact the meanings are often far more complex and ambigious than that. Often, a combination of memory work and checking on the meanings from a book, as well as intuition, is the best way to start. The intuitive part is important, because often the card meaning is dependant on the situation. I've experienced times where during a reading, the traditional meaning of a card is far off from what my intuition is saying about the situation very strongly. Also, working with intuation to start with is a fantastic way to develop a personal connection with the cards, instead of just reciting a traditional meaning for each. However, this can be hard to do for those certain decks that do not include pictures or imagery in the pip cards. This is another reason why decks with imagery on all the cards like the classic Rider-Waite deck are such good decks to start with.