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Madison Ave. via the Library

I’ve mentioned before how one of the perks of working in a library is being exposed to all kinds of different books. Every day books cross my desk and I get to see what people get to read. Even if the books aren’t about anything I’m necessarily obsessed about, I keep a pile of book cards on my desk of noteworthy titles. From that file comes the books I want to share with you.

Advertising is a fascinating craft. Getting people to think they need what you have to sell is not only about economics and consumerism, but it’s also about psychology. The best can sell to us and we might not even know it. The books mentioned below discuss how advertising works on multiple levels, and how things are even more complex in the digital era.

Cover of The Attention Merchants

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads

By Tim Wu


Author of The Master Switch (DB 73418) examines the ways advertising, marketing, and propaganda are designed to attract attention. Traces the business models from nineteenth-century broadsheets to wartime propaganda in print and over the air to the Internet and visual media in the twenty-first century. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2016.

Book cover of Black Ops Advertising

Black Ops Advertising: Native Ads, Content Marketing, and the Covert World of the Digital Sell

By Mara Einstein


Media studies professor examines the rise of sponsored content in media, which frequently appears to be unbiased information. Discusses advertising methods, discriminating between news and paid endorsements, and the psychology behind marketers’ shift from trying to get consumers to buy to trying to get them to share. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2016.

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