I am a relatively young programmer, specialising in Actionscript.
It is unfortunate but true that alot of programmers of my generation do not read as much as they should. The good ones, really condense many years of wisdom and experience, allowing young programmers like me to improve on their craft very rapidly.
The consolidated concepts and ideas in books makes the knowledge more digestable, making the required leaps in thinking less painful for the uninitiated.
I do admit, that I have some programming pornography on my desk, but i feel that in this case some pornography is better than no books at all!
at the least it shows a respect for the knowledge that books can offer.