I am not asking you to memorize scientific names (besides orders) but, as you look at the various pages in the book, say warblers, by knowing that the Black-and-white Warbler is in the genus Mniotilta--you know its significantly different from Dendroica warblers. Vermivora warblers are different yet. With practice, these genera can be recognized in the field.
Unlike other animal groups, because the AOU checklist has been so religiously followed, common names really can be used for North American Birds and, indeed, may sometimes be more stable.
Black and White Warbler
Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Dendroica)