Is it possible/advisable to read several books in 4 months?

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In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of reading three math books over the course of three months during the summer, with the last month being taken off for burnout recovery. The books mentioned are "How to Prove It", "Spivak Calculus", and a discrete math book. The conversation also poses questions about the feasibility and advisability of this goal, given the speaker's background as an engineering student and their interest in computer science. They also mention their dissatisfaction with their current projects and desire to tackle more advanced topics in data structures and algorithms. The conversation concludes by discussing the difficulty of truly understanding the material in a short period of time and the potential for learning 5-7 books in a semester in a school environment.
  • #1
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I am starting to plan some books to read for the summer, and I have already found 3 math books I'd like to finish in 3 months (taking the last month off- burnout recovery). Namely, How to prove it, spivak calculus, and a discrete math book

Now, I'm wondering if my goal of doing this is realistic? I have no problems studying 10+ hours a day as I am an engineering student and I'm used to long hours.

Can I do this? Is it advisable to do? Could I possibly do more books in this time- or am I destined to fail?
 
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  • #2
If you have the will and the time then you can do it. The more important question is probably should you do it or is it a good use of your time. You said you're an engineering student, so what's your motivation for choosing a "proofy" set of books and why those books in particular? Also, summer is a long way away, and who knows what your interests may be in ~5 months. Best of luck no matter what you decide to do!
 
  • #3
Haborix said:
If you have the will and the time then you can do it. The more important question is probably should you do it or is it a good use of your time. You said you're an engineering student, so what's your motivation for choosing a "proofy" set of books and why those books in particular? Also, summer is a long way away, and who knows what your interests may be in ~5 months. Best of luck no matter what you decide to do!

My interests are 100% computer science. I've been programming for roughly ~8 years now in several languages (all kinds, procedural, functional, object oriented, etc) and have been paid before/worked on team projects.

I'm not happy with the current projects I do now and want to tackle some more advanced topics requiring heavy mathematics and of course build up my knowledge so I'm really to tackle some hard data structures & algorithms books. But I've coded in low and high level languages. Since the engineering math isn't really that proofy and doesn't really help in these subjects, I need to learn more proofy math for myself.

My major is electrical/computer engineering- the programming they learn isn't sufficient (and I know all of it).
 
  • #4
You can probably "read" those books in that time. But "reading" the books is a necessary, but not sufficient condition to become familiar with the material.
 
  • #5
Vanadium 50 said:
You can probably "read" those books in that time. But "reading" the books is a necessary, but not sufficient condition to become familiar with the material.

Aren't these books normally learned in one semester (~3-4 months) in the typical school environment? At a full time course load, shouldn't I be able to learn 5-7?
 
  • #6
If you've already taken single variable calculus then Spivak shouldn't be too bad, yes its rigorous but the beauty in Spivak is that thoroughly explains concepts with English to help develop the intuition and thought process behind the proofs. You will find Spivak to have a lot of text, which may or may not be a good thing for you.
 
  • #7
I did Spivak over a summer, and I'm an engineering student. I can't attest to its usefulness in my engineering studies, but I can attest to the personal enrichment I've gained by being exposed to deeper levels of calculus than I experienced in my calculus courses. It will take time, though. Some chapters I had to read several times before I was comfortable with them. I'm not sure all of Spivak can be done (except in rare circumstances) in only three months with no teacher. Perhaps up to integration, though.
 

1. Is it possible to read several books in 4 months?

Yes, it is definitely possible to read several books in 4 months. It all depends on your reading speed, the length of the books, and the amount of time you can dedicate to reading each day.

2. How many books can I realistically read in 4 months?

This depends on several factors, such as the length of the books, your reading speed, and the amount of time you can dedicate to reading each day. On average, if you read for an hour each day, you can finish around 12-15 books in 4 months.

3. Is it advisable to read several books at once?

It depends on your personal reading style and preference. Some people find it helpful to read multiple books at once, while others prefer to focus on one book at a time. As long as you can keep track of the different storylines and characters, it can be a beneficial practice.

4. How can I manage my time effectively to read several books in 4 months?

To manage your time effectively, it is important to set a realistic reading goal for each day or week. This will help you stay on track and make progress towards your goal. It is also helpful to create a reading schedule and prioritize your reading time.

5. Are there any tips for reading multiple books in a short amount of time?

Some helpful tips for reading multiple books in a short amount of time include setting aside dedicated reading time each day, choosing books that you are genuinely interested in, and taking breaks when needed. It is also important to stay organized and keep track of the different books you are reading.

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