I am currently twenty years old. I learned the rules of chess when I was eight and played on and off for a long time. However, I did not take it seriously. Recently after joining chess.com and trying out the tactics, as well as following grandmaster games and YouTube channels, I am interested in improving my skills.
As of now I am able to figure out tactics as well as calculate decently in situations where a few different permutations of exchanges or forks, 2 or 3 moves ahead, could take place. However, most text I see talk about pattern recognition and studying positions and tactics. Therefore I have obtained a copy of Susan Polgar's "Chess Tactics For Champions". I would like to know how I should go about using this book. I understand that it is quite comprehensive. But somethings I would like to get right the first time around are:
1) Should I make a conscious effort to remember positions presented in the book?
2) Should I make a conscious effort to identify patterns or relate positions other than the obvious differences? Or will I start to hone this skill automatically?
3) Should I try to set up a board and play on a few moves in cases where the objective is to get an advantage?
4) Should I keep in mind any trade-off between tactical advantages which may lead to immediate piece advantage versus positional advantage?