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This seems like a vague question, but please bear with me before voting to close it:

Often times, when searching for a good textbook on a particular subject (mostly mathematics or physics), I see users who confidently suggest multiple textbooks on this same subject. (Here is a good example.) My guess is that these users have not actually read through each of these textbooks page by page.

I'm currently going through a few textbooks to learn and/or brush up on different subjects. I am reading them carefully, doing the exercises, taking notes on things I don't understand, etc. A chatper, at best, takes me a couple of weeks (and I spend the majority of my free time studying).

This being said, how does a person read these text-books in-depth enough to have a founded opinion on their contents? Is it done after already knowing the material?

(I know this is a strange, perhaps difficult to answer question, and I'd be glad to take any suggestions or criticisms to better it).

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    I think this is going to be awfully general. You'd approach a math textbook very differently from a history textbook, for instance. – Nate Eldredge May 14 '17 at 15:32
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    Also, I think "learn from" and "assess" are sufficiently different that they should maybe be separate questions. – Nate Eldredge May 14 '17 at 15:33
  • @NateEldredge Would it be better to say something like "How do the processes of learning from and assessing a textbook differ?" – AmagicalFishy May 14 '17 at 15:35
  • You have to read the answers and the individual items to figure that out. I glanced at the answer at the top, and this information was provided. In short, it is a mix. // If you are interested in someone's answer, and s/he didn't specify how intimately acquainted s/he is with the listed resources, it is certainly fair to ask. – aparente001 May 16 '17 at 2:14
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Personally, outside of the elementary level I find there are very few (single) textbooks that I can read and understand the subject. I find it very useful (although cumbersome, and oft expensive) to acquire multiple books on the same subject, so I can read sections from each side by side. A given author may be better most of the time, but there are enough places when self-studying that I get lost that I need to seek additional explanations or examples.

The opinion of the use of the other books I think comes from answering whether it was it useful for me when learning the subject area.

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Read what you need of that book. Many books are organized to be separated in topics by chapters. Don't waste time to read all of a 1000 paged book, for example, instead look for your current needs.

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