It’s September 6th, a day marked red in every bibliophile’s calendar – National Read a Book Day.
Today’s fun holiday inspires us all to unwind, cosy up with a cup of tea, and grab a book. It may be the one you’ve already read and wanted to get back to for a long time. Or, it could be the book that’s been sitting on your shelf for a bit too long. It doesn’t matter if it’s a guide, a memoir, the newest business bible that generates all the fuss this year, or maybe a book that your favorite movie is based on. The goal is simple – get into the written word.
There are countless benefits to reading, but the most important one is that a single book can change your life.
Reading also lowers stress levels, so it’s also a small step towards maintaining a healthy work-life balance for a day, if not permanently.
Today, I’ve roamed my office to see what our GetResponse team’s reading when they’re not entirely swallowed by the world of email marketing. Here are their top recommendations:
1. The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner
This book’s been recommended by our very own Brand Evangelist, Jakub Sadowski.
The Sheep Look Up shows how thoughtless consumption, exploitation, and populism lead to degradation. Every marketer should read it, so they never feel compelled to sell products that are inherently bad.
To illustrate what I mean, let me give you an example: if you pollute the air, it doesn’t mean you’re creating a niche for anti-pollution masks and a new opportunity to gain money.
So, if you’re in need of an inspiring dystopian book that can change the way you view the world and see the parallels between the fictional world and the real one, this is a book for you.
2. Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes – But Some Do by Matthew Syed
GetResponse’s Customer Success Coach, Jan Marcinkowski, is quite sure what he’ll be reading this evening.
Here’s how he describes “Black Box Thinking”:
You can learn from your mistakes, but it’s better to read “Black Box Thinking” before you make any more. It teaches you how, by openly admitting to making mistakes and analyzing them, you can be successful. This book describes various cases – plane crashes, lawsuits, and how you can grow when you change the way you perceive failure.
I’ve been quite busy lately, so I didn’t have time to finish the whole book – I’m owning up to my mistake. But, today’s a perfect day to fix it :)!
3. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newton
Not asking Katarzyna Ostrowska, Product Marketing Manager at GetResponse, for a great book recommendation would be a mistake. She recommends a book that’s inspiring, and really helps you improve your life.
With all of today’s world distractions that often overtake my attention, I needed something to help me handle my straying mind. This is where Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newton jumps in. This book doesn’t give banal or garden variety tips – Cal delves into rare, high-value tips to help you achieve the state of deep, effective work. It is about accomplishing important things without squandering energy on unimportant ones, combating distractions and focusing of energy to make the most of your day and subsequently, your life.
“Deep Work” would be great for those of you, who feel stuck or need some “kick” before it’s Monday again.
4. How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like by Paul Bloom
At the GetResponse HQ, it’s common knowledge that Martyna Wojtaś, our Localization Manager, reads a lot of great books. Here’s what she says about “How Pleasure Works”:
For me, one of the most interesting (and pleasant ) readings lately was Paul Bloom’s “How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like.” The author, a psychology professor at Yale, analyzes the nature of pleasures (both sublime and mundane) and their correlation with our experiences and beliefs. If you want to spend a nice evening and find out why works of art reach staggering prices, that’s definitely a book for you!
Well, it’s pleasure and science in one book – you should probably add it to your “to-read” list!
5. Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
When he’s not writing his own content, Michał Leszczyński, THE Content Marketing Manager at GetResponse, reads some fascinating things. The book he recommends today is no exception.
No matter if you’re thinking of starting your own business or working on one, internally – this book will help you better understand the key metrics that are crucial to your business.
Thanks to this book, I’ve learned to see the difference between vanity and actionable metrics.
Rather than reporting on tens of different KPIs – some of which provided very little intel about the company’s condition – I’m focusing on the ones that allow me to make data-driven decisions.
At the same, this book can be very eye-opening. I’d recommend it to those who are especially interested in the startup world and get easily fascinated by rapidly growing “unicorns”.
You’ll see that many of them fail as they haven’t figured out their business model yet, despite having already attracted thousands of users.
You’ll also see that there’s no magic formula behind them, and more often than not, the best ones had to fail or pivot multiple times, before they were finally able to succeed.
An eye-opener that helps your business – Michał is sure you and your company will love it.
6. My Poles. Diaries of expeditions 1990-1998 by Marek Kaminski
For Aleksandra Szlachcikowska, our Knowledge Management Officer, every day is a Read a Book Day. This time, she recommends a book that’s both inspirational and practical.
If I were asked to describe what’s my most important finding from Marek Kaminski’s book, I would say: less is more.
Imagine this expedition: whiteness and severe cold everywhere, the uncertainty of the weather, of the ice, of nature. Emptiness, darkness, cold. Nothing special enough for you to share on social media :-).
But… the longer you walk with polar, the more you desire it. Emptiness becomes your friend – the fewer distractions around, the more you feel connected with yourself. Darkness and cold are so real and so close that you can hear your every heartbeat. Although it’s an extremely hard road, you feel it gives you hope, freshness, a sense of purpose, and freedom.
This book has two faces: one very inspirational, one very practical. You can read practice tips and touch something unusual at the same time, when following the traveler checklist: family photos, two books, a piece of cloth that reminds you of home. Having in mind that every gram counts when you go to an expedition like this, it’s a rather unusual list.
This book will take the reader to the poles. To the real ones and to those that are inside ourselves.
Reading “My Poles” can take you places. Both literally and figuratively.
7. The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jessie Stricchio
SEO experts never sleep. That’s why you can catch Oskar Markiewicz, our SEO Associate, reading this book in the middle of the night. He says “The Art of SEO” is so captivating, it can keep you up until the next Read a Book Day.
“The Art of SEO” is a book that should be a staple in every digital marketing enthusiast’s bookcase. The authors provide their knowledge of SEO and much more. Stephen Spencer is a great expert, I had become convinced about it at LRT Certified Professional workshops in Vienna, where he was an instructor alongside the famous Christoph C Cemper. “The Art of SEO” is a mix of the knowledge and experience of all three authors in a nutshell. I recommend it to every person who wants to understand search engine optimization processes and help their websites rise to the top.
Oskar describes it as an “SEO Bible”. If you haven’t read it by now, this is the day to start.
Get into the habit of reading.
Did any recommendation convince you?
If not, here are some more books for you to choose from: Top 10 Books on Persuasion Every Solopreneur Should Read, Top 38 Books Every Online Entrepreneur Must Read, and, of course, you can also read one of our marketing guides
Make reading a habit, and let your life be changed for the better!
Are you a regular reader? What books do you recommend?