Many students do not get full value from their mathematics textbooks. If you use your textbook like a cookbook--a place to look up recipes--then you are missing a lot that your book offers.
Here are some suggestions about how to study your book effectively.
Turn off the television set. Reading a mathematics book is not like reading a novel. You need to concentrate to get the most from your mathematics book.
Get out some paper and a pencil. You will want to make notes and do calculations while you read.
Start at the end. Read the chapter summary first to get an overview of what the chapter covers. Take note of what concepts and terms are introduced in the chapter.
Next skim the chapter. Look for definitions of key terms, statements of theorems, explanations of new concepts.
Close your book. Can you write down a list of the main topics discussed in the chapter? Can you define the new terms introduced in the chapter? If not, repeat the preceding item.
Now read the chapter in detail. Work through the examples. Make note of any steps that you do not understand.
Read the chapter summary again. If you study with a group, ask the other members to quiz you about what the chapter covers.
Ask somebody about points that you find confusing. There are lots of sources of help. You can ask other students, go to the help sessions (the hours for the Math 308 help sessions are listed on the Web), contact your instructor by email, go to your instructor's office hours, ask in class.