I like TAOCP, a lot; mainly, because the material is so coherent, precise, well justified, and understandable enough. I spent many weeks reading sections of TAOCP; especially volume 2, on Semi-numerical algorithms; my copy has several post-it marks on techniques useful in my field (applied cryptography): wide multiplication algorithms, modular arithmetic including exponentiation, statistical tests.
I also had significant uses of volume 1 (Fundamental Algorithm), which covers things such a tree, and hash tables; even purchasing the third edition, on top of the second.
- _reading_ TAOCP from start to end is not something to consider lightly; perhaps if one has a year to spend.
- I never caught on the use of MIX in some programs; I just skip this, and advise contemporary readers to do so, even if that's missing a part of the beauty.