I have both. My personal opinion, and I am biased, is that
the ruby book is very good. I (still) often use it for reference.

The Rails book well ... I think a disadvantage _is_ that it is
very speficic to rails. I often saw people asking ruby
questions, which lead me to the FIRM opinion, that everyone that
really wants to use rails, needs to learn ruby too. (Doesnt
have to learn _everything_ but must understand basic stuff,
such as :symbols, hashes arrays AND be able to use
them. Oh and of course, irb too... on IRC it happens too often
that people on rails dont know irb, and it can
be frustrating to tutor people that are only, mostly interested
in rails)


Anyway to your questions, Programming Ruby is definitely worth it.

And the RoR book probably only when you need to use RoR too ;)

-- 
Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.