A word of warning though. It's not something most people will want to sit down and read cover-to-cover, no. You may need it. Primarily written as a reference, some people have nevertheless found it possible and interesting to read each volume from beginning to end. This is why I considered, and rejected, buying Knuth's Art of Computer Programming. Read Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-4A Boxed Set, The (Box Set) book reviews & author details … Ebook (PDF version) produced by Mathematical Sciences Publishers (MSP),http://msp.org, by These volumes are now available also in portable electronic form,using PDF format prepared by the experts atMathematical Sciences Publishers.Special care has been taken to make the search featurework well. As an author, I'm guilty, too. Exercise your consumer rights by contacting us at donotsell@oreilly.com. :). Theoretically. Knuth's seminal work is the most popular reference that programmers intend to read, or finish reading. It's probably more important that you do that problems in the book than you just read it. Can a planet have asymmetrical weather seasons? Sold the set on Amazon 6 months later. TAOCP is an utterly invaluable reference for understanding how the data structures and algorithms that we use every day work and why they work, but undertaking to read it cover-to-cover would be an extraordinary investment of your time. Explore a preview version of Art of Computer Programming, The: Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms right now. I'm firmly in the camp of folks that feel that every developer should make the investment in getting the books at some point (and it's getting easier now that it looks like they are being reprinted in paperback) but on the same token, I would also be hard pressed to believe that someone would sit down and read them all from cover to cover. Don't be afraid to skip around and look at whatever is most interesting first. (Volume 4A appeared in 2011, with new paperback fascicles planned for every two years, and fascicle 6, "Satisfiability," arriving last December). Shall I not have kids? Covers of … Lots of very fundamental topics. The best approach to them - if you don't have a commute to work where you have free time to sit and read - is to read enough of them to know where to find things in them and then to read a full chapter when ever you find yourself using them as reference books for a given problem. If you want to change the world, then read it. Substitute "the encyclopedia" in your question for every reference to TAOCP, and I think the answer should be obvious. Depending on what you do daily, it may not be your most urgent one. Explore a preview version of Art of Computer Programming, The: Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms right now. That's about half a volume, and they aren't small volumes. If you think you're a really good programmer... read [Knuth's] Art of Computer Programming... You should definitely send me a resume if you can read the whole thing. Knuth is arguably the most famous living computer scientist, author of the seminal Art of Computer Programming series. The Art of Computer Programming is, however, still a work in progress. Books. An illustration of an open book. "If computer programming is to become an important part of computer research and development, a transition of programming from an art to a disciplined science must be effected." Flow Chart For Averaging Numbers. It is an incredibly invaluable reference, and it's certainly good to pick it up, pick an interesting section, read over it, and do some exercises. I can't begin to tell you how many pleasurable hours of study and recreation they have afforded me! Too optimistic regarding the brains of other people of difficulty ranges from `` ''! Looking through on occasion has a very useful terrorizing effect on computers Fundamental right! 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