Well, typically it will go like this...
Retrieve the manual from the drawer or shelf where it lives. Sit in a chair, or maybe on the floor, or perhaps stand next to my bike, depending on what I'm trying to nail down. A beer is optional, but always encouraged.
Once properly situated and comfortable, I will open the manual, typically to the table of contents or the index. I'll go to the section I was looking for, read it, maybe read it again, and then perhaps thumb through the manual some more. If I'm in front of my bike, I may put the manual down but blocked open in such a way that I can refer back to it if need be.
IMHO, I *am* really good at manuals. They don't require much balance at all, and I am rarely moving fast enough to require brakes.