When I was newly sober in A.A., me reading the 12 & 12 helped contribute to my grosser handicaps and character defects. It helped me to fuel the fire of doing A.A. in my head -- rather than with my feet.
I love the 12 & 12. It's a great book. However, based upon my own experience, and many of the experiences of newcomers that I've tried to help -- the 12 & 12 can produce a lot of obstacles in to the newly found path of recovery. I suggest that they wait until they have taken all 12 Steps, following the precise instructions in the Big Book, before they read the 12 & 12.
As Bill W., explained in the Introduction in the 12 & 12, that it was for the more experienced members, and not to be considered as a replacement for the Big Book, which he refers to as the textbook of our society.
For those who do not have the benefit of a good solid, in-depth 12 Step meeting in their local area, I would suggest getting a copy of the Charlie & Joe Big Book tapes that were made during their Big Book studies.... and follow along with the tapes and their Big Book, just as if they were in attendance at the Book study. There are also two books, one by Charlie & Joe, which was basically an in-print version of the Big Book studies, titled "A Program For Living," and, another book by Joe McQ, titled "The Steps We Took" -- which is mostly transcribed from the 12 Step study meetings that Joe used to do.
After that -- I would suggest that they would now be well equipped to understand much of what's in the 12 & 12, that could potentially lead them astray on the path of recovery.
The big differences in the Big Book and the 12 & 12 (besides some of the conflicting statements in the 12 & 12), is that the Big Book, is like a "cook book" with recipies that, if you follow them -- will produce your sobriety cake and the icing to go with it -- and it will teach you how to cook up the spiritual experiences that will keep you on the path of recovery.
The 12 & 12, is more like a book on the "experiences of eating". And, it can influence the perceptive appetite prior to eating, or cooking, or learning to cook.
If you don't learn to cook and to be a cook and do some cooking yourself, it won't matter what you think about the experiences of eating.
Or, as another example -- the Big Book, is like the textbook that teaches us "how to do the math" -- and, it starts by showing us how to add and subtract, before moving on to algebraic equations -- while the 12 & 12, is more of a reflection on some interesting observations of math.
That's how I see it -- after tasting both dishes and doing the math! .............