I've been reading the pickaxe book the last few days.  As a newbie to
both Ruby and programming I have to say it's packed with an incredible
amount of information.  I'm still in part 1 and just going through the
section on Regular Expressions. I find this section in particular to
be quite a challenge.

Two questions then:
Is the book more of a reference, read through and always come back too ?
Is is a good idea to have a project started at some point , perhaps
after the first section ?

TIA
Stuart