While I have several books, I feel the same way. I'm highly suspicious when I walk into a developer's office and see the two dozen ".NET" books on the shelf, the spines giving all appearances of never being violated.
and then later:
Sidenote: Many Microsoft Press books come with a CD with an electronic copy of the book for searching and electronic access, as well as sample and promo material. Of course most developers wouldn't know this because they never actually cracked it open.
um...it's a crazy thought, but it is possible that often the books look rather unused (or, in your words look as if their spines have never been 'violated') because that alot of people are just reading the books on their PC using the included electronic copy?