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How Do You Read Technical Books?

Over the last few years since joining Javalobby, I've become addicted to reading technical books. Although, after each book I read and review, I seriously consider giving it up. Within the next few days, I would have found yet another interesting book, and the addiction has continued. On an average I have been reading at least 3 books a month.

The way I read these books is also quite interesting. If I am writing a review for Javalobby, I take almost 3-4 weeks to read and also work out all the samples provided by the book; in many cases in spite of having used and also knowing the technical aspect thoroughly. In some cases, if there are not many samples to try out, I read and highlight things which need special mention in the review.

If I am not writing a review, I still take the same time to read all the chapters even if I know I won't be using it in the near future. Trust me, I have no clue how I got so addicted to these books.

Lately, I have started asking all the publishers to send me PDF versions, rather than the hard copy. I have to do my share to save this world, right? Another advantage of having the soft copy is that they are searchable.

Most of these books are also quite expensive; costing anywhere between $30-$60. What criteria do you use to buy these books? Does your company bear all the expenses? Is there a limit you set on how many books you read every month?

So, how do you all read technical books? Do you work out all the samples? What do you prefer: hard or soft copy?

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