Far more often than I care to recall, I feel as though people don't read manuals. I think this is due either to the feeling that the author of a manual is somehow talking down to us or the feeling that needing to read the manual somehow makes us less of a person. Basically, it's due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of a manual.
Most often, we see a manual as a set of instructions telling us (very condescendingly) a series of steps to perform in a very specific order that we must complete before we are allowed to engage in the activity for which we actually purchased (or received) the item in question. That is, the manual is an obstacle.
However, most manuals are designed to be resources and, seen in this light, the manual becomes a tool and not simply another bit of packaging that stands between us and enjoyment. Seen in this light, there is actually a reason to keep the manual around filed away for reference. Of course, if we don't know what's in the manual, then all it is doing filed away is collecting dust and taking up space. To that end, I have put together the following process for reading a manual, so that all manuals you might come in contact with in the future might survive past day one:
Naturally, these steps are all predicated on the assumption that you have a manual and it was written in a way that makes it worth reading and referencing. That, however, is a topic for another post.