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What Buffer Is Reading This Month

BookshelfFrom the moment you join the Buffer team, you are encouraged to read. In fact, the welcome email implores you to read early and often, and you receive a Kindle Paperwhite and free Kindle books just to make sure there are no obstacles to reading as much as you want. (Sound like something that might interest you? We’re hiring!)

And once you are part of the team, you continue to see the deep impact that reading has on the goals and improvements of all of us. When we share our weekly improvements together, there is often a common theme of reading: We want to read consistently, to make reading part of our daily ritual, and to learn and discover as much as we can.

Many successful people read before bed, as a way to catch up on what they missed throughout the day or to unwind as part of their sleep routine. Bill Gates reads one hour every night, no matter how late he starts.

We share his enthusiasm! Reading of any and all kinds is encouraged at Buffer, which is why at any given time, you’ll see team members reading books about marketing, philosophy, customer service, parenting, productivity, fiction, and so much more.

We thought it would be a fun exercise to share the books we’re reading so you can see what interests us, inspires us, and motivates us. We’d love to hear yours, too. Feel free to share in the comments or catch us on Twitter or Facebook.

Hope you enjoy the lists!

Joel reading list April

Joel Gascoigne, founder and CEO

  • Just finished: Confucius Analects
  • Currently reading: The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates
  • Up next: Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All


Leo's reading list - April

Leo Widrich, co-founder and COO

  • Just finished: No Death, No Fear
  • Currently reading: Tao Te Ching
  • Up next: Designing for emotion


Sunil reading list - April

Sunil Sadasivan, Chief Technical Officer

  • Just finished: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Currently reading: Conscious Capitalism
  • Up next: How to Deliver a Great TED Talk


 Carolyn reading list - April

Carolyn Kopprasch, Chief Happiness Officer

  • Just finished: Lean In
  • Currently reading: The Everything Store
  • Up next: Talk Like Ted

Brian reading list - April

Brian Lovin, Product Manager

  • Just finished: How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Currently reading: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
  • Up next: The Lean Startup
Niel book list

Niel de la Rouviere, Front-End Hacker

  • Just finished: Marionette: A Gentle Introduction
  • Currently reading: How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Up next: The Power of Habit

Dan reading list - April

Dan Farrelly, Front-End Hacker

  • Just finished: The Great Reset
  • Currently reading: Against the Smart City
  • Up next: The Greatest Salesman in the World, or  A Movable Feast


Colin reading list - April

Colin Ross, Happiness Engineer

  • Just finished: Fooled by Randomness
  • Currently reading: 1984
  • Up next: Open to suggestions! (That would be a great title for a book…)


Asa reading list - April

Asa Nystrom, Happiness Hero

  • Just finished: Remote
  • Currently reading: Hatching Twitter, and The Best Service is No Service
  • Listening to: Contagious: Why Things Catch On
  • Up next: Good to Great and Trust Agents


Mary reading list - April

Mary Jantsch, Happiness Hero

  • Just finished: Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
  • Currently reading: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Up next: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking


Adam reading list - April

Adam Farmer, Happiness Hero

  • Just finished: First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process, and  The War of Art
  • Currently reading: On Writing Well
  • Up next: How To Win Friends and Influence People


Daniel reading list - April

Daniel Feeney, Happiness Hero

  • Just finished: How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Currently reading: Be Our Guest
  • Up next: Hooked


Dave reading list - April

Dave Chapman, Happiness Hero

  • Just finished: How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Currently reading: Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers
  • Up next: Delivering Happiness


Courtney reading list - April

Courtney Seiter, Head of Content Marketing

  • Just finished: The Circle by Dave Eggers
  • Currently reading: Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger, and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  • Up next: Influence by Robert Cialdini


Kevan reading list - April

Kevan Lee, Crafter

  • Just finished: Poke the Box by Seth Godin
  • Currently reading: End of Illness by David Agus, and The Mark Twain Collection from The Atlantic
  • Up next: Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys


Your turn

What books are on your reading list? We’d love to hear what you’re reading.

Image credits: Stewart, Open library.

  • Brian – how did you like David and Goliath? I managed to read less then half the book, I found it very assumptions. Gladwell usually justifies his assumptions with only the studies that work well for him but in this case I thought the pseudo science was too glaringly obvious.

    • Brian Lovin

      Kamil –

      I read through it with the mindset that I simply wanted to expand my own mindset and absorb new ideas. I think a few things were a stretch, but there were some good premises that seem to have pretty good application (i.e. big fish, little pond comparative psychology).

      I’ve been following some of the threads about Gladwell and his methods of research/justification – I suppose it’s good to read everything with a grain of salt and try to seek greater general applications rather than specific case studies :)

      • Appreciate the reply Brain and I apologize for the delay in mine. I agree it wasn’t all junk but I guess I was just disappointed coming from Outliers and Tipping Point.

  • My goodness, so many great additions to the “Want to Read” shelf! I put a star next to Quiet, Be Our Guest, and Contagious. I’m reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane now, but I’ll be ready for some nonfiction next.

    • Wow, just read the brief on Ocean and was super intrigued. How have you enjoyed it?

      • Beatriz Arantes Magalhães

        is delicious. I devoured it in like 3 days. Just couldn’t stop. It’s amazing
        how Gaiman creates fantastic, terrifying and incredible atmospheres with such
        ordinary objects and situations.

      • So far, it’s wonderful. I’m worried about the protagonist, but I worry about everybody in books :)

  • Amanda Proo

    Each of these books look fantastic! I have added How To Win Friends and Influence People, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, and Be Our Guest to my reading list. I have been meaning to start Lean In also! It’s wonderful that you all do this together.

    • That’s going to be an amazing list, Amanda! How to Win Friends is an integral part to what we do and who we are here at Buffer. Your other choices are incredible, too. Happy reading! :)

      • Amanda Proo

        I will have to bump that one up on the list then! Thanks Kevan!

  • Thea Woods

    I just started a reading challenge with a few Facebook friends for a group of us to read “How To Win Friends & Influence People” this month. My goal is to consistently complete AT LEAST one personal development book (or business-related book) per month. I see I’m in great company! :)

    I’m definitely going to bookmark this post to decide on what I should read next. You have quite a few that I haven’t read yet, and a few others I need to reread.

    A great suggestion for your next read is Marc Ecko’s “Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out”. Even though they have it on Kindle – I highly recommend a few of you purchase the hard copy. It’s truly one of the most beautifully designed books I’ve ever seen in my life. And as a person who sometimes becomes A.D.D. when it comes to sticking to one book – I couldn’t put it down, because of how good it was.

    • Super suggestion, Thea! Thanks!

  • Paul Van Cotthem

    It seems that the classic “How To Win Friends & Influence People” has become very “Contagious” at Buffer! Who started this wave inside your company? Is it really such as good book, or is it simply a book gone viral at Buffer?

    • Hi, Paul! Thanks for this question! Joel and Leo found this book hugely impactful during the early days of the company, and a lot of our company values are based on the learnings here. More info in our culture slide deck, if you’re curious:

      • Paul Van Cotthem

        Thanks Kevan. I’ve had the book on my own bookshelf since the 1980’s ;-)

  • Beatriz Arantes Magalhães

    That’s fun, I’m also reading “Contagious” and finished “the power of habit” some weeks ago. Hooked and Lean In are already in my wishlist. Do you guys use GoodReads?

    • Hi, Beatriz! I personally don’t use GoodReads, and I don’t hear the team talking about it too often. I did see that it is integrated into the Kindle Paperwhites, so maybe it’s something we might find fun to use!

  • Annalise Kaylor

    I’m loving “The Accidental Creative” by Todd Henry and think anyone who has enjoyed the books of Carnegie or Hsieh would find it an interesting read. I’m a touch more than halfway through it and have already seen it bolster the efficiency in my creative process, and I’ve definitely found some tactics for decompressing in the always-on world. Highly recommended. That, and “The Happiness Project,” which I’ve just finished and truly enjoyed.

  • Monique Major

    I actually recently finished reading How to Win Friends & Influence People again, it’s such a great book. I like to re-read it and 7 Habits of Highly Successful people every year or so. Currently, I’ve got my nose in The Year Without Pants while I wait for Remote and a few others to arrive in the mail. (Nothing beats a paperback).

  • How about adding some more fiction to your reading lists guys? I find fiction not only entertaining and a good way to unwind, but a good author can also work wonders by making you use your imagination.

    • Awesome to hear, Jerrie! We definitely skew a certain direction with our reading choices, eh?

      What fiction can you recommend? Something good you’ve read lately?

      • Yeah it is cool, everyone relaxes in a different manner. I just personally like fiction because it gives me a nice escape, but I have also read some of the books on your lists. My choices just skews much more towards fiction.

        I am currently busy with The Bootlegger from Clive Cussler. Also like books from David Baldacci, John Grisham, Jeffrey Deaver and a whole lot more. Like to discover new authors all the time :)

  • KarlMealor

    Reading Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? Having way too much fun with puzzles, Fermi questions, etc. Thanks for recommending Talk Like TED.

  • I am really impressed with the quality (and quantity!) of literature the Buffer team is consuming and enjoying! Way to go.

    I can’t wait to add many of these books to my Goodreads account! I thoroughly enjoyed “Choice Theory: A New Psychology to Personal Freedom” by William Glasser and believe it aligns with Buffer’s core values, especially relating to positivity and working cohesively. And for those “twenty-somethings,” I found “The Defining Decade” by Dr. Meg Jay to be really insightful.

    I agree with some of the other comments that adding some fiction would be a refreshing break and still add plenty of value. I am a huge fan of authors Dan Brown and Richard Paul Evans, but my favorite type of literature would probably be dystopian fiction (Ender’s Game, Divergent, The Giver, etc.).

    • Ender’s Game, Harrison Bergeron, Flowers For Algernon, Farenheight 451, 1984, Brave New World, A Handmaid’s Tale, etc

  • I hate you guys so much right now! :) Like my amazon wish list wasn’t overflowing already! :)

  • Athena Lam

    I keep a list on Facebook notes. It’s really low tech, but I chose it because

    I’d be interested to hear what Joel & Leo think of The Analects and the Dao De Jing; the latter especially is a personal and academic favourite but there aren’t too many people who want to discuss them outside academia (or the idioms that still remain in Chinese culture).

    For 2014, the book that I’d recommend is Cabbagetown by Hugh Garner.
    But generally other recommendations:

    Maximum City by Suteku Mehta
    Palm of the Hand Stories by Yasunari Kawabata
    Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondatje
    In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondatje

    One Economics, Many Recipies by Dani Rodrick
    Ha Joon Chang – apart from 23 things they didn’t tell you about capitalism
    Duflo & Banerjee (their microeconomics)

    The list is pretty long!

  • Archit Chandra

    Just finished ‘The Goal’ by Eliyahu Goldratt and currently reading ‘Steal Like An Artist’ by Austin Kleon (would probably complete it tonight). Planning to read ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen next.

  • Pingback: Content and Email Marketing Tips from Buffer's Courtney Seiter | Vero Email Marketing Blog()

  • Charles Gedeon

    Cool stuff! I added some of these to my own Kindle Paperwhite! I was wondering where the pinterest board with all these went. I can’t seem to find it :(.

  • Hi Buffers, actually i’m reading “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman and this next 3 books are on my reading list:

    – “Flow” by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
    – “Knowledge is Beautiful” by David McCandless
    – “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh

    My complete reading list is here:

  • Talia Escandar

    Currently working through The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Would recommend Good to Great by Jim Collins. Thinking about starting on Delivering Happiness — nice to know you’ve got a well-read team!

  • mcstew

    I just completed reading “How to Fly a Horse” by Kevin Ashton. It’s a really great read about creating filled with some wonderful, insightful stories. Next up, a book mentioned in Ashton’s book, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki.

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