I’m tempted to say “Man up and get on with it” but that’s not very helpful. 🙂
There are 2 kinds of texts: primary texts are the ones you’re studying and you should be reading the whole thing unless told otherwise by your tutor.
Secondary texts are books which are about the book, writer, period, topic you’re studying. Learn to use the index – look up key topics in the index and plan your reading from there. You do not always have to read a book from cover to cover.
When deciding whether or not to use a secondary text ie one you don’t have to read but which may help you because it’s on a relevant subject:
- check out the index to get a feel for what’s covered
- read the start and conclusion of a chapter that strikes you as useful to what you’re studying
- if you can’t understand the book at all, go and find one you can understand
- just occasionally you’ll find a book you really don’t get on with – go with your gut, stop beating yourself up and find something that works better for you.