In the self-help and success niche, there is a curious phenomenon
I call the “little books.”
These books are usually almost always reprints of talks,
speeches, and tracts from the 20th century, published today as
thin paperback books.
Some are so few pages they are more like pamphlets than books —
saddle-stitched with staples through the spine rather than
perfect-bound like a regular paperback book.
You can read them in a single evening without discomfort,
fatigue, or boredom. And they lend themselves to being reread on
a regular basis.
These little books survive the decades and centuries, and
continue to be avidly read today by an elite group of truth
seekers lucky enough to discover them, because these slim volumes
contain valuable wisdom.
Each essentially teaches a simple lesson that is practical,
timeless, and proven to be correct through long and continuous
The 6 “little books” I heartily recommend you read this year are
1–Russell Cromwell, “Acres of Diamonds.”
A speech given many times that says all the treasures you want
and everything you need can be found right here in your own back
2–James Webb Young, “A Technique for Producing Ideas.”
A proven and simple 5-step method of solving problems and
producing profitable new ideas.
3–Earl Nightingale, “The Strangest Secret.”
The singular lesson of this reprint of a Nightingale talk is: “We
become what we think about.”
4–George Clason, “The Richest Man in Babylon.”
A sermon of sorts on the wisdom of achieving success by putting
your nose to the grindstone, investing wisely, being thrifty, and
learning from those who have already achieved what you desire.
5–Robert R. Updegraff, “Obvious Adams.”
The story of a businessman who uses pure common sense to achieve
extraordinary success, doing what seems obvious to him but others
6–James Allen, “As a Man Thinketh.”
The lesson: by controlling your thoughts you control your life —
similar to #3 above.
All 6 of these books are like gems: small but valuable.
I reread all 6 within the past couple of months — didn’t take
long, so the return on time invested (ROTI) is great — and as
always, found reinforcement of good ideas as well as inspiration
for new achievement.
Do you have another favorite little book to add to my list?