I have a bunch of chess books that have been given to me on my favorite openings. I usually try to do a few games from them after I play my daily games and go over how I could improve with a chess engine.
However I feel like I am not getting the most from the books, and my coach hasn't really helped me yet understand how best to use them. Keep in mind I'm still a beginner, I'm hovering in the 800-900 range.
It comes down to I think a few things I don't get:
Many books I have just jump straight into games and talk about this or that variation, or another game, or their thoughts on the move. None of them discuss the ideas behind why those moves are good ideas, which I think is key in helping me understand. For example I watched a video of Karpov explaining some stuff on the Queens gambit that fundamentally improved my play because I was told the motivation behind the ideas.
I only have one program or chessboard available to me at any given time. Most books talk about variations in the middle of discussing a mainline. This is hard for me because I follow that line, then have to reset my board to follow the mainline until the next variation.
How do you guys handle these two problems? I feel like it's just like math. Once I learned to read a math text I got so much more out of it and became better. I think I can greatly improve my performance by understanding how to study a chess book effectively.