I love books. I especially like real, paper books. My love for books is distinctly opposed to my love of minimalism. So the books that I have and keep must be books that I use. Frequently.
It’s not enough to just love a book, if it’s going to take permanent residence on my shelf, the book needs to earn its keep. The result of my opposing compulsions is that my bookshelf is highly functional. I’ve got a few sections, the business-y stuff and the massage-y stuff being the biggest ones. And here’s what I’ve got.
Business and Money
An earlier version of this book was my very first money book, and has a special place in my heart. It focuses on sole proprietorships and breaks down complicated tax rules into real, applicable situations. It’s the not only money book you’ll ever need, but it’s a great starter for people who have never run a business and feel a little lost or confused.
The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed: The Only Personal Finance System for People with Not-So-Regular Jobs – Joseph D’Agnese & Denise Kiernan
If you’ve ever found yourself short on cash the week that quarterly taxes are due, or wondered to yourself, “When do I get paid?” this is the book for you. It includes actual systems for how to organize, save and spend your money. And it covers the reasoning, which I found very helpful in overcoming my own fears and emotional obstacles in handling my own money.
With titles like LLC vs. S-Corp vs. C-Corp: Explained in 100 Pages or Less & Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less, you know it’ll be clear and concise. And Piper’s books are. I’ve got Independent Contractor, Sole Proprietor, and LLC Taxes Explained in 100 Pages or Less handy and I reference it often. (I had a few more, but I loaned them out and never saw them again. Replacements are on my wish list.)
Massage Therapy: Integrating Research and Practice – Trish Dryden & Christopher Moyer
Research matters. You can read my full review here, but in a nutshell: We’re navigating a changing terrain in our profession right now, and this book is a valuable compass.
This book is entirely manageable. It’s not at all scary and I learned things that have helped me be a better massage therapist, volunteer and marketer of my own practice.
My go-to guide when a client walks in with a health issue I’ve never heard of, or when I’m just not sure what’s okay to do and what’s not. I can’t really say it better than the official write up, “With skill and passion, respected author and lifelong educator Ruth Werner makes pathology fascinating and understandable for massage therapy students and prepares them to make professional choices that result in the best possible outcomes for clients living with a wide range of diseases and conditions.”
I like scripts. Early in my career, I felt I was always stumbling through the more complicated intakes and fumbling for the right questions. This book helped me. It includes easy to understand (and use) flowcharts and actual questions to help me tailor the safest and most effective massage for a particular client, with a particular issue, on any particular day.
Mature, experienced therapists know that there are very few black and white contraindications. We know that the right combination of prudence and compassion is vital, and this book helps the therapist work through those issues in order to serve, truly serve, their clients.
A Modern Day Guide to Massage for Children – Tina Allen
I have a copy in my office and I show it to clients (and client’s parents) often. It’s fun to look at and even better to read, and provides interactive rhymes, stories and massage routines that everyone can get the hang of right away. Get this book for yourself, then get a stack to give to every parent, day care provider, and teacher you know. (Really, it’s my steadfast New Baby gift nowadays.)
The Deep Massage Book: How to Combine Structure and Energy in Bodywork – David Lauterstein
You can read my full review here. And since I wrote that review, back when the book came out in 2012, I’ve referred back to it several times. When I need comfort that my work means something. When I was feel like I’m getting stale, or just too superficial, on a variety of levels. Deep Massage brings me back to my core.
So many of our books are heavy on the technique but light on the beauty of touch. Or thick with the esoteric and thin on the practical applications. The Deep Massage Book is a wonderful balance of both worlds, and as such, is accessible to all of us, no matter how your bodywork leans.
Those are my faves. What are yours? Share in the comments!
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