5 Business Books For People Who Don’t Like Business Books

I feel many of us are at saturation point with business books. We’ve read so many that, instead of getting new ideas, they drain us of energy and offer few new ideas.

You know when you’ve read a new business book and thought to yourself: I’ve read that before? It happens to me so much that instead of looking at the new releases, I’m finding more rewards re-visiting books that meant a lot to me as a younger man.

5 Business Books For People Who Don’t Like Business Books

While some of these were hard to grasp at first reading, I can relate to them better now that I’ve been ‘through the mill’ and understand the subtlies that escaped me before.

Here are a few jewels to get your hands on.

On War – Carl Von Clausewitz

Everyone knows the Art of War but this is more practical. It’s the definite guide for military strategy and offers many fascinating insights into how one can run campaigns, especially with few resources and under intense pressures. We can all relate to that in a recession.

Positioning – Al Ries and Jack Trout

How do you find a niche? How do you compete against a more powerful foe? It’s all here in this classic on market positioning. One of the few marketing books that has never dated.

Murder Trials – Cicero

You can learn a lot about business by reading the Romans and Greeks. Cicero is one of the most interesting, especially if you want an insight into how he persuades others to see his point of view and encourages others to side with him when the stakes are high.

The Intelligent Investor – Graham

If you really want to understand how to invest, then this is the book to read. There are no shortcuts in here. He explains – in simple English with little jargon – how to evaluate stocks, companies, and read financials. Don’t be intimidated by the size. It’s a joy to read and, like Positioning, hans’t dated since its first release.

The King’s English  – Fowler

I hate grammar. I guess you’re the same. This wonderful book explains why those strange exceptions exists and how to get your head around effect v affect and other grammar minefields. A great read. Always entertaining (yes, really! ) and a nice primer on the more subtle nuances of grammar.


These may not be business books in the traditional sense and that’s why I’ve included them here. You don’t need to read the NYT best-seller list to find inspiration. Whatever keeps you fresh and compliments your business is worth reading.

What books would you add?