Jeff Bezos’ Reading List

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Jeff Bezos’ reading list is of great interest to many people around the world.

If there’s one thing that has significantly influenced Jeff Bezos’ life, it is reading books.

After all, Amazon started as an online store in a garage.

Soon, the billionaire whose net worth is $112 billion, not only delivered books.

He started changing the way they’re published with the introduction of Amazon Kindle.

For one of the richest men in the world, it seems easy to say that he’s only cashing in by selling books and other products in the digital marketplace.

You’re wrong.

One of the secrets to his success is his devotion to reading.

So in case you’re wondering what’s in his private library, we’ve created a list of some of the books on his list for you.

Click on the images below to buy from Amazon.

Jeff Bezos’ Reading List

1Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, Jim Collins.

Why do some companies succeed, and others fail?

This management book provides an answer.

When everyone in a company embraces its central mission, they flourish.

That’s because the central mission serves as a core ideology and provides guidance to what everyone ought to be doing.

To learn more and get inspiration on building the next long-lasting company, click on the book image above to get the book from Amazon.

2Creation: Life and How to Make It, Steve Grand.

This book is one of the precursors to the creation of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

This book explores how, by going back to basic building blocks, one can eventually create innovative and intelligent technological systems.

Of course one has to be willing to build from the ground up.

The author is a game designer.

Click on the image above to buy from Amazon so you can learn more and see how this book inspired the creation of Amazon Web Services.

3Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know, Mark Jeffery.

If you make an assertion about something, you must support it with data. That’s how it works at Amazon.

If the data has a weakness, an employee must point it out or others will do it for him or her.

Amazon is a marketplace for almost everything.

The online store capitalizes on the data that it gets in order to run its operations, and this book has inspired Bezos to utilize such information.

Click the book image above to buy and to get real customer reviews from Amazon.

4Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t, Jim Collins.

Before the publication of this book, business consultant and author Jim Collins met with Amazon executives.

He gave a briefing about the principles he’s written.

He says that for companies to grow, they must be willing to confront and to embrace everything about their business.

From these facts, they have to master what they’re good at.

But they have to allow the other aspects of their companies to support and to accelerate the other parts.

Click on the image above to buy Good to Greatfrom Amazon.

5Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, James Womack and Daniel Jones.

The 1991 recession got companies thinking about how to cut costs while improving their efficiency.

The result?

Lean thinking.

Little did these companies know that the principles they have created are still being applied decades after.

In fact, it has prompted certain business and management disciplines in an effort to teach companies how to be resilient, scalable, and profitable.

Click on the image of the book above to see real customer reviews and get a copy.

6Memos from the Chairman, Alan Greenberg.

Before Amazon, Bezos worked for the now-defunct investment bank, Bear Stearns.

A collection of the memos sent by its chairman, Alan C. Greenberg, this book stresses the importance of always thinking about a company’s core values.

In the case of Bear Stearns, those values are frugality and modesty.

Click on the image of the book above to see real customer reviews and get a copy.

7Sam Walton: Made in America, Sam Walton.

Try a lot of things and be willing to make mistakes.

Many mistakes.

Both of these are included in Amazon’s corporate values and are inspired by Sam Walton’s take on the bias of action and frugality.

Sam Walton founded Walmart.

He is a man credited for revolutionizing the retail business model, Sam Walton also writes about the principles involving discount retailing in this book.

Get the book from the image link above and learn more about this.

8The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb.

When chaos ensues, what do people see?

The argument raised by this book is that a scholar actually sees patterns in chaos but remains blind to unpredictable events.

Such blindness leads to massive consequences.

The key?

Empiricism and experimentation.

Learn more about this book from the link to Amazon above.

9The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvements, Eliyahu Goldratt.

This book offers one big lesson for manufacturing companies: to identify their constraints and to restructure in order to take advantage of these constraints.

This seems counter-productive but it was the key to fixing Amazon’s fulfillment network.

Click on the image above to buy from Amazon so you can learn more and see how you can take advantage of constraints.

10The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen.

Another book that spurred the creation of Amazon Kindle and Amazon Web Services, this book stakes a claim that companies who ignore the potentials of disruptive innovation pay a higher price than those who don’t.

The book says that embracing disruptive technology isn’t all about alienating customers; it’s all about introducing something that has never been seen before.

Get the book from the image link and learn more about this.

11The Mythical Man-Month, Frederick P. Brooks Jr.

There’s an existing belief that larger groups are more effective at handling more complex projects than smaller ones.

With more brains and manpower at work, a complex job becomes a lot simpler.

But that’s not the case.

In this book, the author argues that a smaller number of engineers are more apt at handling complex software projects.

Buy this book from Amazon using the image link.

12The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro.


A novel about a butler who relives the memories of his experiences in the army during the First World War in Great Britain.

This book stresses what duty means, the quest for greatness, and the sacrifices that one has to make in between.

According to Brad Stone, the author of Bezos’ biography, The Everything Store, this is Bezos’ favorite novel.

He writes that Bezos often learns more from novels than non-fiction.

From molding Amazon’s core values to improving its operations and identifying market opportunities, you can see how the written word has influenced Jeff Bezos as an executive.

These stories from Jeff Bezos’ Reading List is proof that books are powerful enough to inspire change, to spur growth, and to help with personal and corporate success and achievement.