I really lucked up with my whole Ruby book purchase dilemma. When I went back to the store, I discovered that they actually had two Ruby books to choose from. I couldn’t decide which one to choose! Over lunch I perused the user reviews over on Amazon. It turned out that one was extremely well written, but lacked depth while the other was poorly written but covered the important stuff. Yes! Now I had a good reason not to purchase either of them!
Seriously, though, Brad Bollenbach’s advice was sort of percolating in my head. I agreed with myself not to buy another book until I had gone through at least the first ten chapters of On Lisp again, picked out ten neat tricks from PAIP chapter three, experimented with the General Problem Solver from PAIP, worked through the Huffman Encoding Trees example in SICP, finished up SICP section 2.4, and read another chapter of HOP. The quality of those four books is so great that there’s probably little chance of any of the modern $50 phone-book sized disposable computer tomes coming close to them anyway.