Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah) said:
There are two ways of acquiring knowledge:
1 – Acquiring it from trustworthy books written by scholars who are known for their knowledge, trustworthiness and sound beliefs, free from innovations and myths.
2 – Acquiring it from a teacher who is trustworthy in terms of his knowledge and religious commitment. This way is quicker and more reliable for knowledge, because in the first method a seeker of knowledge may go astray without realizing, either because he misunderstands or because of a lack of knowledge, or for some other reason. But if a seeker of knowledge combines both methods, that is better and more complete. The student should get his priorities straight, and brief books on various subjects before studying books that deal with them in detail, so that he will move from one level to another, and he will not move on to the next level until he has mastered the one that comes before it, so that his progress will be sound.