Tony Dye

Tony Dye




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Only Three Books

This is an idea from The Vagrant. (Hardcover, Kindle, Audible)

If you could only have ready access to three books, for a very long time, what would you choose?

Years back I made a choice of favorite books and I limited my list to those things that would fit on one shelf of a small bookcase near my desk. I keep that shelf full. What’s challenging is when I get another book that I want to put into my favorites category, generally something else has to be removed.

Reducing down to only three books is even harder. It is a slightly different thought process than choosing favorites. With only three books, I have to choose something that’s valuable, referenceable, and that I’d be ok re-reading often (since I’m not likely to suddenly stop reading).

First choice is easy. It would be my bible. The only difficulty is choosing which one, but I’ll make that easy too. Just a few months ago I switched to an ESV study bible, which I like as much as any previous. Hardcover

QBQ Image

Second choice is the hardest. In the past, it would have been QBQ (Hardcover, Kindle, . Audible). Still a favorite book and one I give away often. I have read this one over and over. Every time, it does remind me of some action, or attitude, or habit, that I can give more attention to. As much as I like it, it isn’t new information.

Instead, I’m choosing Anatomy of Peace (Paperback, Kindle, Audible). All three of the Arbinger books, Leadership and Self-Deception, The Anatomy of Peace, and The Outward Mindset were candidates. Anatomy of Peace focuses on the thoughts, the patterns, the behaviors, where I most need to improve. Maybe someday it will be a boring book and I can say “been there, done that,” but it seems that’s a long way away for me.

Lastly I’m choosing Thinking in Bets. (Hardcover, Kindle, Audible) This is a relatively new book to me and it exposes me to some different ways of thinking. It’s from this book, more than any other, than I picked up the phrase “Truth-Seeking,” which I have taken as my big goal / attitude in all debatable topics. Whether I’m right or wrong doesn’t matter much as long as I’m focusing on finding the truth.

So there are my three, Bible, Anatomy of Peace, and Thinking in Bets.

What three books would you choose?

2 Responses

  1. Ooh, that’s a tough question!

    I think I’ll steal two of yours, with the Bible and Thinking in Bets. My other choice might have been Adam Grant’s “Think Again”, which I love, but it overlaps a tiny bit with Thinking in Bets. If I only get three, they should be very different.

    I guess I’d go with Donald Miller’s classic “Building a Storybrand”. In this scenario that you’ve shared, while I only get three books I assume the rest of my life goes on as normal. With that in mind, constantly refreshing myself on the ideas in Storybrand would be one of the best things I could do for my company and our clients.

  2. StoryBrand is definitely in my top 30 list. As is Business Made Simple (but not Marketing Made Simple, but it was close). Three is really, really, hard!

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