A treasured book is much like a close friend: it helps you through the worst of days, makes you laugh on the most grueling of days, and inspires you to better yourself for days to come. Whether you are an avid reader, a casual reader, or you haven’t touched a book since high school, just about everyone has a book that has had some influence on their life – and National Book Lovers Day is the day to celebrate it.
August 9 marks National Book Lovers Day, and the team at Creative Click Media is sharing their favorite book and how it inspires them. Before you curl up with an old reliable book of your own, check out some of our top choices and how they shaped us into book lovers ourselves:
Adam Binder, Founder
Book: Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Author: Simon Sinek
This book poses the one fundamental question that has served as the foundation of our business: Why?
While this strategy has been successfully used at mega-corporations like Apple, the companies that eventually sink are the ones who leave this as an afterthought. Without first understanding your “Why,” you cannot fully communicate your “What” and “How.” For instance, we build beautiful websites (“What”) using WordPress (“How”), but none of this has any meaning without having an understanding of why we are doing what we do.
Why do we come to work every day? Why are we using these marketing strategies? Why are we building this website? Why does this client need our help?
Sinek’s “Starting With Why” philosophy has been extraordinarily eye-opening, especially as a business owner. Creative Click Media’s “Why” is to help business owners grow their brands to reach their personal and professional goals, and living by this through every project we take on has made the work we do that much more effective. The question I pose to you is: do you know your company’s “Why”?
Amanda Erdmann, Director of Client Services
Book: Eat, Pray, Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
I remember when Eat, Pray, Love first came out and I was talking to my grandma about reading it. She gave up on the book because she said the author was “too whiny.” I can’t argue that. In the beginning, there is a lot of depression but it’s necessary to understand the story. It turns into a journey of empowerment and adventure. It has inspired me to travel and see the world. I have seen and done things that I never thought I would do because of this book. I can’t wait to one day see Italy and Bali.
This book really inspired my love of travel and my love of love and friendship. Some of the words really jump off the page at you and make you think. “To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.” Just one of many inspiring quotes.
Alex Dimicco, Web and Graphic Designer
Book: HTML & CSS Design and Build Websites
Author: Jon Duckett
This book helped me learned almost everything I know about website design. It was the starting block for me to begin diving into the world of website design and learn how to bring a page to life. With the use of CSS the ability to make everything custom is endless. Learning these things helped me be more creative, it gave great insight into coding and why it can be fun.
With the use of this book, I learned the Do’s and Dont’s and I think it really shaped me into the designer I am today. Although it may be boring to a lot of people I think coding and building something from scratch is extremely satisfying.
Anthony Giampaolo, Account Executive
Author: Michael Lewis
This was my go-to book for all school projects, mostly because my teachers never had a grasp on the concept behind the book and cringed at the sight of statistic formulas (luckily it was a time before Brad Pitt had brought the idea onto the screen).
I was attracted to this new philosophy because of my love of the game of baseball and this thought of a new era. Breaking the longstanding traditions of the national pastime was a true inspiration for one with an aspiration of one day running their own MLB franchise(isn’t that the dream of most kids?).
That dream hasn’t taken traction (yet!) but the book did direct me into the route of business. I was able to adapt similar concepts and analytics into market research projects. I even took a college class called “Sports & Stats” which basically was this book – easy A.
Beyond the statistics, it’s a good story of trusting one’s instinct and executing a revolutionary vision.
Bev Farrell, Project Manager
Book: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Author: Stephen King
I was inspired by this book not only because Stephen King is such a great writer but because this was not a “How To” book telling you how to write the next great American Novel. It is more autobiographical, focusing on his writing journey.
One of the most memorable parts for me was how when he and his wife were struggling, he had a makeshift desk crammed in a closet. When they finally bought a house, he had an office with the big desk he had dreamed of. With everything in place the way he always thought it should be, he found he couldn’t write.
It is the perfect example of how as a writer, the perfect workspace isn’t a desk or an office, it is where you find your inspiration.
Gavin Jones, Copywriter
Book: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
I was already 17 when this book came out, but it’s always stuck with me. Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. The Graveyard Book is the dark fantasy version of The Jungle Book. A toddler escapes the murder of his family and winds up in a graveyard. He’s raised by two ghosts, and a whole host of creatures that live in the graveyard. They name him Bod, short for Nobody. Throughout his many adventures, Bod constantly feels like he’s torn between two worlds. He struggles with his identity – something that we all go through in life. In the end, he makes the choice to leave the comfort of his graveyard (a place he loves dearly but ultimately provides no future for him) and sets out into the living world (a great unknown, with many promising adventures but no guarantees of success or happiness).
It ultimately taught me that even though the world can be an intimidating place, you still need to venture out there and try to make your own way. No one else can do it for you. There comes a point where you just have to take the leap.
Jason Rajcok, Social Media Specialist
Author: Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
This book describes what boundaries are, why they are important, and how to apply them to your life. I read this book when I was about fifteen years old. It has played a large role in how I relate and interact with people. One of the main things that I learned and have applied to my life is how to respond to people and situations when I feel like getting annoyed.
It was a hard lesson to learn, but I learned that the reason we get annoyed is that we let ourselves get annoyed. It doesn’t matter what the other person does, we are in control of how we react or respond. Thus, situations, or people, only annoy us when we allow them to. There are other lessons that are equally convicting in the book, but the one about how we are in control of how we respond to things has been the one that has changed me the most.
Jesse Larsen, Project Coordinator
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Well, what can I say about this book? It has some of the darkest humor I’ve ever seen, but it’s far from the only reason why I love it. This book is an anti-war book containing crash courses in humanism and quantum physics.
Taking inspiration from Eternalism, the main character, Billy Pilgrim is “unstuck” by time and experiences his life non-linearly. As a result, you jump from one experience Pilgrim has to another with Vonnegut riding shotgun with you the entire way.
During this very unusual adventure you learn the 3 thoughts Vonnegut is trying to shove into your gourd:
1. No one is better or worse than you. We’re people, all the same, so be nice to everyone. Love and be loved. (Humanism rocks)
2. Time exists all at once, and that’s why everything matters. Yes, that time you totally screwed up the important meeting will always be happening. But, so is the time your grandfather bought you ice cream for the first time. Your first kiss – everything.
3. War is bad. We should really stop doing waging it.
At the end of the day this book, and Vonnegut’s other writings, converted me to a humanist and made me think of life and death in ways I couldn’t imagine before.
Katie Cleland, Tech Specialist
Book: How to be Single
Author: Liz Tuccillo
This book is about women and being single taking you through the lives of five different women and their experiences of living in New York City without a man. (Completely different from the movie that just recently came out this year). The main character, Liz, takes the opportunity as a journalist to travel the world and see how single women are doing it all over the world after trying to cheer up her recently divorced friend, Georgia.
It’s a humorous book that shows how the world views single women and their independence. I laughed and I cried and it really showed me a new light of how strong women can be. As a strong independent woman myself, I enjoyed this book thoroughly and would recommend this book to all women and encourage them to travel the world as Liz has done.
In the end, the lesson was that we are successful and we are strong just by being ourselves; the most important thing we can do is love ourselves and enjoy life to the fullest with our friends and family.
Megan Morreale, Content Marketing Consultant
Book: The Illustrated Man
Author: Ray Bradbury
Tattoos that come alive, spacemen, aliens, and mankind’s search for something beyond earth – this collection of 18 stories is the only book I return to over and over again. Not just because it’s well-written, and about cool space things (although that helps), but because it forces me to think about some really hard questions each time I read it.
The Illustrated Man is about answering the big stuff: where do we come from, do our lives have meaning, what is that meaning, and how do we reach each other most powerfully? It’s an inspiring example of how storytelling can affect every human on this earth with its relevance, and force them to look at tough problems in a way that’s entertaining and effective.
Bradbury is the author who first taught me what has probably been the most important lesson in my life so far – that sometimes in order to get your point across, all you need is a good story and some hard questions.
Olivia Garrison, Director of Communications
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll
Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland is a book that has stayed with me from childhood to adulthood, purely because abstract nonsense has no age limit. At its surface, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is about a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole into fantasy land, full of kings and queens and talking animals and a mischievous cat. However, as you delve deeper into the context of the story, many of these characters act as commentary for themes such as science, philosophy, anarchy, and the psychology behind time and space. Pretty heavy stuff for a book that was later translated into a Disney movie, but the relevance of these topics still to this day keeps it timeless.
Depending on where I am in my life, I find myself relating differently to each of the characters. Some days I feel like Alice, tired of the mundane and eager for an adventure. Other days I feel like the White Rabbit, constantly rushing from Point A to Point B. Sometimes I even relate to the Mad Hatter, feeling completely bonkers and perfectly content with that. If nothing else, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has taught me to ask questions, be open-minded to the peculiar, and stay hungry for everything the world has to offer – just don’t eat strange cakes labeled “Eat Me.”
Olivia Osterberg, Communication Specialist
Book: The Harry Potter Series
Author: J.K. Rowling
It is so hard just to pick one book from the Harry Potter series, so I pick all seven books! The Harry Potter series has taught me so much about facing my fears and being loyal to others. The series in itself is not just about Harry Potter but about the unlikely people who are the true heroes of the story. Without Harry’s loyal and true friends, Voldemort would have conquered the wizarding world and Harry Potter would be no more. This series made me realize how important love, friendship, and loyalty are and how precious our relationships with others are.
This series has always been a security blanket for me, especially in middle school. I was bullied often and whenever I felt alone or sad, I knew I could pick up any Harry Potter novel and be transported to Hogwarts. In a way, Harry Potter protected me from those bullies and rough middle school days.
I will always be a Harry Potter fan. I will always be a Hufflepuff. Hogwarts will always be my home. And Harry Potter will always stay with me.
Stephen Opet, SEO Account Executive
Book: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Who doesn’t love drinking, parties, and jazz? Most have read The Great Gatsby as a required curriculum. That didn’t stop me from buying a personal copy, nor from reading it over and over again. The novel is set in the peak of the Roaring ’20s when stocks were high and morals were low. On the surface, the story speaks of a man caught between two worlds, Gatsby. Born into poverty, Gatsby is driven to work for a better life when he falls in love with a rich girl. It seems like a love story. But if you delve deeper, The Great Gatsby becomes an allegory for the American Dream.
Gatsby represents the American Dream you and I both share – if you believe in something, and you can work hard, you can do anything. He is seen to overcome obstacle after obstacle on his quest for wealth, believing that it will win his beloved’s heart. However, he gets lost on his journey, becoming obsessive and fixated on achieving a dream that (SPOILER) eventually kills him. Maybe Fitzgerald is saying that the innocent dreamers will get eaten by the corrupt, or that good intention will always fall apart. I think that’s why I love the book, it’s ambiguous – it can be a different message every time you read it.
How are you celebrating National Book Lovers Day? Which books have inspired you the most throughout your lifetime? Let us know in the comments!