We all learn in different ways. Some of us are visually oriented, some manually, and some through auditory means. My grandmother knew that back when she was teaching kindergarten in the 1920′s and 30′s. It took a while for the teaching philosophers to catch up, but she knew.
I find that for me the best path is a combination of visual and manual input. I read about things, let them absorb for a bit, then stick my hands into the project. Once I get the feel, I get the idea, but I need to see something first. My ears are the least effective route for me in learning a new craft, I find.
So for me, the best way to learn a craft is to get myself a book on the subject (and usually more because I am a lifelong, unabashed biblioholic). There are others, though, who need a teacher telling them how to do things before they can really figure out how a craft works. The books won’t help them until someone explains it in their ears.
I’m curious. What method (or combination of methods) works best for you? Do you prefer books? Demonstrations? A teacher? Tell me about it.