“Outside of dog, a book is man’s best friend. Of course, inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx

Magic of Thinking Big Cover

Magic of Thinking Big Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the course of my career one of my all-time favorite questions to ask a candidate is “What is the last book you read?”  The obvious follow-up is “What book are you currently reading?”  The responses (and reactions) have fallen from one end of the spectrum to the other.  They also reveal a great deal about the candidate.  Many candidates do a bit of dancing around the subject and then list all the articles and web sites they read to stay current.  But that was not the question.

I will always remember one candidate in particular.  It was 2003 and I was interviewing a candidates for a sales position.  Near the end of the interview I asked my favorite question.  He was taken off guard and unprepared for it.  After finally admitting he hadn’t finished a book since college, and now clearly defensive,  he thought he would turn the tables and asked me to name the last book I read.  I did him one better.

I told him I finished my last book just the week before and it was The Magic of Thinking of Big.  And I also listed out the three books I read before that.  I then told him what I was currently reading and the next two I had lined up after that.

We are able to get information from many sources thanks to advances in technology.  But where do we gain knowledge?  Nothing can replace a book.  The ideas shared in books ranging from history, personal finance, biographies, business, motivational and inspirational and so many others, can not be duplicated.

Diving into a book can replenish our mind in a way reading an article can not.  Books make us think, they make us wrestle our in-grained beliefs with new ideas.  They help us draw new conclusions and create paradigm shifts.  If we are open to it, they can help us see the world in a new way.

I don’t know if you are familiar with Andy Andrews or Og Mandino.  Both are great writers and can weave great stories.  If you don’t know them, I highly recommend their work.  Some of my other favorite books include:

  • As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • Thinking For a Change and Failing Forward both by John Maxwell
  • Destination Success by Dwight Bain
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

These titles revolve around business and self-improvement.  But I will include additional titles from other areas including literature in subsequent posts.  But I would like to know who some of your favorite authors might be.  Feel free to list some of them.  You might point someone in a direction they have never been.


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