In third grade I dissected owl pellets. Despite my usual enthusiasm for science, (I won the state science fair that year experimenting with the feeding habits of Lumbricus Terrestris (known to laymen as "earthworms")), I was deeply troubled- not so much by the pellet itself, after all, I handled the worms without so much as a murmur- but, as I now believe, by the concept of regurgitation. As my schooling progressed I was introduced to a more sophisticated form of pre-digestion: the textbook.
The difference between reading a textbook and reading the original treatises of, say, Thomas Jefferson is a bit like the difference between appreciating art and creating it. Reading a textbook will at best inform you of someone else