I'm learning to play the guitar with some books I bought recently. I normally don't like the well known Dummie books, but these concerning learning to play the guitar are well worth to buy for basic learning.
This aside, I'm wondering about cord progression and placing the fingers.

Are the chord diagrams to be considered 'suggested/preferred' are they somehow set in stone?
I was doing some exercise (rhythmic chord progression E-A-B7-E) when I noticed that in this progression it would be easier to do the fingering differently.
I was lifting my fingers between every chord swap according to the diagrams, but this seems inefficient, time consuming and making errors easier.
What I did afterwards was when going from E to A, I placed fingers 2, 3 and 4 to create the A chord (instead fingers 1, 2, 3 according to the diagram).
Then I putted finger 1 already in position on the D-string (since the string is already fretted by finger 2 on fret 2, it doesn't make a difference).
In this case I only had to move fingers 2 and 4 (spreading them evenly to the string below and up) to go from A to B7.

Is walking the path of least resistance the way to go, or shouldn't I do this because I could be learning some wrong techniques which will clash later on and will be difficult to unlearn?
Either way is fine, go with the one that's more comfortable for you. With that being said though, you should be able to do both without any problem if you really want to be sure that you won't hit a roadblock later on.
Usually the fingering you'll choose is dictated by what else you're going to be playing. When moving between chords ideally you want to be moving as few fingers as possible, so if there's an option that allows you to keep some fingers in place you'd usually use it ove rone that required you to move them all between chords.
Actually called Mark!

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Ok, the path of least resistance it is then.
I just wanted to make sure I was not learning some bad habits.