I recommend you read and practice but if you are just starting , you will need to be familiar with the technology and to gain as much knowledge as you can.
Here are some of the recommended book list:-
1- CCIE routing and Switching exam certification guide 4rth edition.
2- Routing TCP/IP volume 1 , 2.
3- MPLS fundamentals.
5- Internet Routing Architecture 2nd edition.
6- QoS exam certification guide.
Good luck with your studies, and feel free to ask any questions here.
The written exam by itself doesnt need practicing, however, when I said practice is to apply the basics from what you have read to undertand and apply the theory. you can certailnly go for the written with Only Study and minimal or without practice.
However, the Lab exam needs lots of practice, the practice for the lab exam differ from normal practicing ...