I first met Ben Arment in Atlanta last year, and was immediately struck by his warmth and humor. We bonded chatting over our respective families of 4 kids, and our big plans for the future.
Ben is the visionary behind two fascinating endeavors: Story Chicago, a conference for creatives that’s happening for the sixth time this September, and Dream Year, a program that helps people walk their big ideas from conception to reality.
Ben also has a book coming out August 5 called Dream Year: Make the Leap from a Job You Hate to a Life You Love, available for pre-order now on Amazon. (It’s on my to-read list, of course.)
I was stoked to get a peek at the shelves of an Idea Guy like Ben. (And Will–who’s not usually a huge reader–has been plowing through Ben’s recommendations since they arrived in my inbox.)
1. Tell us a little bit about your shelves.
I’m not a “nester” so my shelves are pretty sparse. If I could do away with an office altogether, my dream is to work out of a big living room. With a fireplace. And movie soundtracks playing softly in the background. And fresh popcorn on hand. And an espresso machine. This particular shelf is for books I want to access quickly. I have a little purging to do here in the new year. The other ones are stored in closets on the top shelf.
2. How are your books organized?
By color, of course. How else do you organize books?
3. Do you have a favorite shelf?
I’m particularly fond of the white books. No, seriously. I love a white cover. Malcolm Gladwell’s covers, Wild Company (the story of Banana Republic), Start with Why, the Lincoln screenplay and The Art of Immersion (which looks at transmedia campaigns). I do judge a book by its cover.
4. Any special titles you’d like to point out to us?
These five are special to me right now:
• Nick Bilton’s Hatching Twitter is a fascinating read about the company’s beginnings.
• The Red Tent because I’m writing a historical novel this year.
• The Hunger Games because it’s the best constructed novel I’ve ever read.
• Blockbusters which talks about launching ideas in a big way.
• and The Medici Effect because I quote it all. the. time. Amazing book.
Find out more about Story Chicago here, and Dream Year here. To stay current with what Ben is up to, sign up for his email updates here. (Ben writes a great newsletter. These are intended for “people who want to accomplish something,” and I personally find them very worthwhile.)
View more posts in the Other People’s Bookshelves series here.