6 Books Steve Jobs Recommends You Read

The legend lives on

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Anyone who is a fan of Steve Jobs can presume he had an extensive reading list. Founding one of the world’s most successful tech companies doesn’t come without literature. But Jobs' decision to not define Apple as just a tech company is actually what speculates a library full of guides, classics and autobiographies. A majority of Jobs’ favorite books have a deep focus on health, overcoming a struggle and becoming your better self. The Apple founder was known for his strict diets, love for yoga and meditation and ability to approach tech from a liberal arts point of view. Easily influenced by his literature, Jobs was always open to experimenting with his mind and pushing his body to higher limits. In this list, you’ll find the guides that Jobs lived his life by and followed wholeheartedly.

1. 'Autobiography of a Yogi' by Paramahansa Yogananda


We’re pretty sure this book was one of Jobs’ faves, given the fact that it was the only e-book found on his personal iPad 2. The autobiography follows the various life experiences of Paramahansa Yogananda, an Indian yogi and monk. Paramahansa introduced millions of westerners to the now popular practice of yoga and meditation. Jobs was known for being a health-conscious individual who practiced balanced nutrition and exercise. A book on the life of someone who mastered how to control the mind comes at no surprise as a favorite of Jobs.

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2. '1984' by George Orwell

1984 cover

A classic, 1984 often lands a spot on every student’s required reading list at some point in grade school. It also landed a spot on Jobs’ favorites. The book is responsible for the famous Apple “1984” Super Bowl commercial that first introduced Macintosh to the world. “You’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’ ” appeared on TV screens all over the United States, following a woman smashing a sledgehammer into a telescreen. The best-seller explores a man’s struggle with following the laws of an oppressive and controlling state: an eerie prediction about George Orwell’s idea of the future. According to Goodreads, it ranks as one of the most terrifying novels ever written. 

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3. 'Be Here Now' by Ram Dass


This is the book responsible for Steve Jobs’ first time trying LSD. Another read that explores the practice of yoga, Be Here Now is about the author’s spiritual transformation.

“We’re talking about metamorphosis. We’re talking about going from a caterpillar to a butterfly. We’re talking about how to become a butterfly.” 

During his transformational period, Dass experimented with LSD and started on a path to enlightenment. We wonder if Jobs was trying to do the same.

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4. 'Diet for a Small Planet' by Frances Moore Lappe


It appears there is a pattern with Jobs having read books and then making a life change after finishing them. Diet for a Small Planet inspired the tech creator to become a vegetarian. The book has influenced tons of Americans to follow a healthy meat-free diet and notes the personal and social significance of doing so.

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5. 'Zen Mind Beginner's Mind' by Shunryu Suzuki


Steve Jobs was at the forefront of popularizing Zen and Zen meditation. He openly talked about his relationship with mindfulness and its positive effect on his mental health during hard times in his career. He used meditation to spark creativity, alleviate stress and produce clear thoughts. Zen Mind Beginner's Mind was the first book to strike a conversation about the spiritual practice in the United States. 

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6. 'Mucusless Diet Healing System' by Arnold Ehre

mucusless diet healing system pdf arnold ehret 1 638

Mucusless Diet Healing System is a guide by German dietician, Arnold Ehret that suggests all-fruit diets and intermittent juice fasting. The book encouraged Jobs to start juice fasting on extreme levels. At one point, Jobs got so obsessed with his new findings that he went weeks on a carrot-only diet. While carrots have many health benefits, carrots alone are not enough to maintain a well-balanced diet and Ashton Kutcher found that out the hard way when prepping for his role as Jobs. 

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