Good point on QM. A bad choice on my part, unless the person has a tangential knowledge of it already.
I’d push back a bit on your narrow scope of books you can hop around on as just reference manuals and such. I have read so many non-fiction books (like, all the way through, elementary school style) that in retrospect could have been used as lily pads. Eventually, most or all of the books can be read all the way through, no doubt.
Your worry about confirmation bias is a valid one. My reply would be this: I would never endorse reading part of a book and then thinking:
- that tells you what the whole book is about
- you now know the truth about the subject you found in the book.
That would be terribly misguided and intellectually responsible. It’s also the root of confirmation bias (like citing the first piece of data that Google search returns which favors your theory).
What I do (and I find that it works), is not about thinking that I understand each book after reading just part, and not about thinking that one or two partial texts give me the truth. It’s about gathering facets, and getting enthused about the conversation that is happening between these texts — about the same topic.