I have always been grateful that I went to a few meetings before being exposed to any of the literature. If I had read the Big Book while drinking I would have been much less open to coming to AA. The 1930's inspirational literature style of it would have driven me nuts. Reading the Big Book after being exposed to how people apply the program in their lives made all the difference.
The literature contains principles that form our common ground. For that reason the Big Book, the 12 and 12, AA Comes of Age and the other classics are very, very important. They are not, however, sacred texts that should be taken as the ultimate test of every practice or idea. Our experience as a fellowship plays that role. If we don't know more about recovery and living in sobriety than Bill Wilson did in 1939 then we have been doing something very wrong for the last 73 years.