Knowing a bit about the different types of books helps a lot in your reading strategy.
1. For example, the following book is what we call, a monograph, which treats a singular topic. It is a comprehensive and extensive study of a topic such as a building, an artist.
You can use this kind of books to fill in gaps in your knowledge about a subject.
Notre Dame, Cathedral of Amiens: the Power of Change in Gothic by Stephen Murray.
2. The next example is what we call “Thematic Studies“. These are books of chapters and essays related to each other with a sustained argument.
You can pick the relevant chapter or essay for, often, Thought-provoking Arguments on a topic.
Artistic Integration in Gothic Buildings. edited by Virginia Chieffo Raguin, Kathryn Brush, Peter Draper.