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I don't think the point was "reading books is obsolete" so much as that only having printed books as references presents a hurdle to the would-be Common Lisper. A language that has good free tools and online documentation available is a language that you can start playing with right now, the moment the desire strikes you, which encourages new people to join the community. If you have to wait for a book to arrive or shell out X thousand dollars to get decent tools, some non-trivial percentage of interested people will decide it's not worth doing those things and move on.

The usual reference of Common Lisp is the Common Lisp Hyperspec. Online and for download. http://www.lispworks.com/documentation/HyperSpec/Front/

Several books for learning Common Lisp are online or for download:

* Peter Seibel, Practical Common Lisp, http://www.gigamonkeys.com/book/

* Common Lisp: A Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation, http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/LispBook/

* On Lisp http://www.paulgraham.com/onlisp.html

It's just that these books are 'old'. Common Lisp is 30 now. But since the core language does not change much, the old books are still fine. They may smell a bit.

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