When you're looking to get into a subject, and you're pretty much at ground-level, it may very well be the case that everything you need to know is already out there, but you don't know where to look.
A search engine query for a problemturns up some really specific solution to a really specific problem Does it apply to you, in your just-getting-started state? Who knows? If it's analogous or indirectly applicable, it'd take a quasi-expert to correctly realize how. You ask, and people around you may not know, may not think they know, or may simply tell you to google for it. Sometimes, you don't even know who to ask.
Having the right book in this scenario is like having a personal tutor. A good tutor will help you with your problems around core concepts, and will have good answers to your immediate questions. A good tutor just gets you on your feet; once you're there, you can gain experience and learn where to find answers to your next sets of questions.
 "Why is my program getting terminated without a crash dump?"
 "That's a bug in that particular version. It's fixed in VCS, grab the latest sources."
 Which may well be the first two or three responses in a search engine query. "I'm feeling lucky" indeed.
(This the first part of a series of thoughts I had about how I don't think for-pay books are going away.)