I have been spending the last month reading Euler's Elements of Algebra. It's an interesting way of teaching and learning algebra because it's broken out into small paragraphs that introduce algebraic rules one at a time and tries to relate them to each other in some logical sequence. It's a little odd some times, though, because right after learning about logarithms, you go back to subtraction.
One strange thing I learned about myself in college is that I am much better at math involving variables than I am numbers. I've always been slow adding
5 + 6 or taking
8 * 9. Most people by the time they're out of 3rd grade can't even help but recite the answers. Not me - I still have to think about it everytime. I find it strange, then, that I am much more comfortable reducing expressions like
3x^2 + 9x + 12. In fact I get a kick out of it! Euler's book is geared much more toward people who like my kind of math.