well i'd never say that reading or learning anything is 'bad' in itself. just that it may not neccesarilly yield the results you would like. and in this particular instance could even prove detrimental. this obviously depends on the text you use, but as pointed out earlier, filling your head full of academic concepts (eg thinking mid conversation "ooh i probably need to be making an 'intent statement XYZ' about now"), when really you'd be better just being present and listening to what the persons saying.
that said i'm sure if you do study great conversationalists (chat show hosts, radio djs etc) i'm pretty sure they would have had some kind of formal communication training, so i wouldnt be too dogmatic either way.
i've always been interested in the history of storytelling in human society. going back to the dawn of language people sat round campfires and talked, told lies, and communicated. i'm pretty sure shakespeare never read 'how to spice up your small talk' or whatever the fuck, and he was pretty hip with the english language.
in conclusion read for your own pleasure - if you have an academic mind and enjoy those kind of studies, then yeah why not, just dont get too caught up in it all in the real world.