How to Use This Book
To get a high-level understanding of the refactorings in this book, you can begin by studying each refactoring's summary (see Format of the Refactorings, 47), as well as its Benefits and Liabilities box, which appears at the end of each refactoring's Motivation section.
To get a deeper understanding of the refactorings, you'll want to study every part of a refactoring, with the exception of the Mechanics section. The Mechanics section is special. It's intended to help you implement a refactoring by suggesting what low-level refactorings to follow. To understand a refactoring in this book, you don't have to read the Mechanics section. You're more likely to use the Mechanics section as a reference when you're actually refactoring.
The coding smells described in this book and in Refactoring [F] provide a useful way to identify a design problem and find associated refactorings to help fix the problem. You can also scan the alphabetized listing of refactorings (on the inside covers of this book and Refactoring) to find a refactoring that can help improve a design.
This book documents the refactorings that take a design either to, towards, or away from a pattern. To help you figure out what direction to go in, you'll find a section on this subject (called Refactoring to, towards, and away from Patterns, 29) as well as a table (listed on the inside front cover) that shows each pattern name and the refactorings you can apply to take a design to, towards, or away from the pattern.