It’s easy to be critical of business books, which have become a big business. The motives and abilities of the writers who toil in these segments — self-help, how-to, CEO biographies, corporate narratives, big-picture panoramas, focused functional pieces, to name a few— are as widely varied as the categories themselves.
As is the case with every genre, a few of these books are fantastic, some are good, and many are, alas, quite bad. So, how can we justify spending hours, or a whole day, engaging with a 400-page volume? As a professional consumer (over the years, I have reviewed nearly 150 books for s+b), producer (I’ve written three myself), and avid fan, I can think of three principal reasons.