The downsides I have with books are the same with the downsides I have for online courses, so it really would be personal preference for how you learn. Like what got mentioned here:
I dislike watching videos, so I almost always buy an ebook for whatever I'm learning since my tablet is always with me. Paper books get outdated quick for tech subjects, but for more established frameworks like Python and R, you'd get a really solid foundation on only need to Google some syntax stuff when doing it on your own with the bleeding edge version.
eBooks and online courses sometimes publish updates and corrections, but you'd need to find a good publisher or instructor you can trust will provide the right info. I tend to stick with PacktPub or Manning for material, and they seem to do right by keeping their material modern.
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