It's estimated that only 5% of people read a book related to their profession each year. Here are some of my favourite books on marketing, advertising, writing, and other inspiration.
Changing the world is the only fit work for a grown man
The biography of Howard Luck Gossage, 'the most unemployable copywriter in San Francisco'. He stuck two fingers up at Madison Avenue, changed the industry predicted interactive advertising (in the 50s), founded Friends of the Earth, hosted Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, and came out with my favourite quote about advertising: 'Advertising is far too valuable a commodity to waste on purely commercial clients. It is at its best when used to change society for the better."
How to do better creative work
I was lucky enough to work with Steve three times in my career. The knowledge he passed on to us at Ogilvy and HTW was priceless. Which makes £15 for this book the best money you could spend on your creative career. It has all you need to know on developing award-winning work, along with invaluable advice on running projects and managing clients.
In Pursuit of Silence
What can a book on silence have to do with creativity? A lot. The dynamics of an open-plan office can affect our ability to think clearly. This book is a fascinating exploration of the many facets of silence, and why it's so important to humans. From clear thinking, to sleeping well, the kind of sounds that trigger aggression and even the impact of loudmouth extroverts the author reveals the essential role that silence plays in our lives.
The Art of the Idea
This is essential reading for anyone starting a creative career or any client who's just started using an agency for the first time. John Hunt is the Creative Chairman for the TBWA\Worldwide network, and this is a beautifully-written guide about those sometimes irrational, sometimes fragile and sometimes difficult little things we call ideas.
We, Me, Them & It
John Simmons’ isn't afraid to bring personality into his work. After all, personality is an essential part of branding. And it’s our own personal experiences that give rise to ideas. Yet we often see personality giving way to category convention. This is required reading for anyone who wants to go against the grain and create brands that disrupt.
The craft of copywriting is about simplifying your message. Shortening sentences. Murdering darlings. For me, Japanese author Haruki Murakami is the master of concision and simplicity. The beguiling ease of his writing can lead you into a parallel universe without you even noticing. The precision and simplicity of his language is something every writer should aspire to.