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My Bookshelf

Hi there, a couple of people have asked me for this so I quickly put together this collage of my home office's bookshelf, as well as my e-books folder.

Some books I consider essential and read more than once, some I didn't like at all and some I haven't gotten to yet.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Notably absent from the photo is "Getting Real", which I just lent out to a friend.

And here's my ebooks folder:

Sorry for the not-very-descriptive names.

If you have any questions about any of the books, ask away in the comments! 🙂

Now that you know what I read, are there any books you'd recommend?

Peldi for the Balsamiq Team

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Comments (19)

  1. I recommend nearly all the books listed, however I would highly recommend NOT reading “The 4 hour work week”, that has to be one of the worst books I have ever read. It outlines how to be a shady business, how to offshore EVERYTHING, and only do 4 hours of work a WEEK! I mean seriously? I know you don’t even remotely identify with this book Peldi, I am suprised you are recommending this book! I have read nearly every book on your bookshelf, I got about 40 pages into this thing, and was absolutely disgusted with what I was reading. I actually sent Amazon an email to request my money back I was so horrified!

    I suggest to NEVER EVER follow the advice in this book, it is just awful!! Sure, that would be the dream to only work 4 hours a week, I mean who in their right mind wouldn’t want that? But proliferating the world with crappy businesses designed to screw over the consumer and line your pocket is definitely not the way to go!!!

    Anyways, the rest of the list is a very good read indeed. I have learned a lot!! “Reality Check” was fabulous, “Dont Make Me Think” another very good book!

    [Peldi: Eric, I totally agree! I couldn’t get past page 5 of it myself! Yuck. There are a couple of other books that I didn’t like in this photo…Bootstrap for instance was another one I couldn’t make myself finish. I just took a photo of my bookshelf, I didn’t edit. I should take a new photo, since I have a bunch more books now! ;)]

  2. Thanks for sharing your post We have read a lot of the same books. Fully plan to get Balsamiq at some point although I am not technical and having trouble finding right advice on programmers or wondering if I should learn. I went to a book store and got more confused then ever. Thanks. Jaret

  3. I really liked “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug. It’s a quick read about UI design. I found it really thought provoking though

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  5. @Michael Rabinovich
    I think you mean ‘About Face 2.0’, right?
    It’s a good, in-dept book, but very hard to get through.
    I do like all the names they have for stuff like ‘combutcons’ and all that 😉

  6. Awesome! Thanks for sharing Peldi!
    Here’s my fav book on these subjects:
    “The Unplugged: Join a new breed of developers that don’t use computers. Much.”


  7. Hey Peldi, nice list adding a few to my amazon wishlist 🙂

    I’ve just started reading ‘The Idea Generator’ ( Not specific about ISV or dev but there are some tech references. It’s basically a toolkit for approaching problems and opportunities from many different angles and gets you thinking about loads of solutions when you dry up.

    It’s a cheap book and if you email the author he’ll send u a link to a sample chapter.

  8. Did you like Essentials of Interaction design? I found it to be very windows centric – its metaphors and lessons years behind current ideas.

  9. Hi Peldi, that’s a pretty impressive geek-biz library! Although many titles are familiar, I’m tempted to check out a few I’ve seen first. Here are my two author (and paradigm) recommendations:

    Since what you’re starting has disruptive potential (and lots of ways to get the business side of it wrong), check out Clayton Christensen’s magnificent work on disruption, starting with The Innovator’s Dilemma (followed by The Innovator’s Solution, and Seeing What’s Next).

    For MBA-alternative-like business savvy and a rigorous overall management philosophy, check out Eli Goldratt’s revolutionary work starting with his business novel The Goal (followed by further novels like It’s Not Luck, Critical Chain, and Necessary But Not Sufficient). The last one deals with enterprise software but has an underlying logic that applies to any technology.

    Hope you enjoy them,

  10. Hi Peldi, have you considered typing out the titles/authors? It would make it indexable by Google (and also would help me figure out the author of the Bootstrap book you have).

    [Hi Jon, good idea. Except that the Bootstrap book was terrible, I couldn’t get past the 2nd chapter. The guys is SO FULL OF HIMSELF, it’s sickening. I’ll type up the names and titles and provide Amazon links, hopefully soon.]

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  12. There is a lot of overlap between my bookshelf and yours. Any you particularly do or don’t recommend for a fellow mISV? I thought the E-Myth book was overrated, boring and not useful for mISVs (the bit of it I read before getting too bored to continue).

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  14. I recognize many of those books, but not “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” — do you recommend it?

    [Peldi: I just got it and haven’t read it yet, but I heard great things about it]

  15. Great library! I’s pretty much the same titles I love (I bought 15 copies of Getting Real for my company). I would suggest “micro trends – the small forces behind tomorrow’s big changes” by Mark J. Penn too.

  16. I’ve got a lot of those non-programming titles! I’m reading Groundswell right now which I like. I also really enjoyed Tribes by Seth Godin. And for a little escape I recommend The Kite Runner. Are you on If so you should add me!

  17. Lots of those books look familiar, especially the Flash related ones. What are you best reads when it comes to startups (getting real aside)?

    [Peldi: Hi Stefan. Well for a little while “Micro-ISV” by Bob Walsh was my bible. Since you’re a coder I would also recommend “The Business of Software” by Erik Sink and of course Spolsky but you might have already read all of it from his blog. Then I’d definitely recommend “The Art of the Start”, “Crossing the Chasm”, and I liked “You gotta be a little crazy”, which tries to dissuade you from starting a business (it worked on me for 5 years). From “Founders at Work” I learned two things: people are rarely successful with the idea they started the company with, and that being first is rarely an advantage. I did *not* like “Bootstrap” at all, in fact I put it down after 2 or 3 chapters). I hope this helps!]

  18. A mix of it, usability, economics, bootstrapping and leadership books. It seems a lot like my bookshelf actually! 🙂

    I would also recommend you Seth Godin’s “The Bootstrapper’s Bible” and “The Dip”

  19. Wow, man! You eat books! Just like me, but I preferer romances!