My All-Time Favorite Book

When people find out that I write Book Rapper and then how many books I read (over 500 in the past 12 years!) the inevitable question is:

Which one is your favourite book of all?

Whilst, it’s difficult to choose a favorite, there is one that stands out for me because it is impacted me in two very powerful ways. Drum roll please… The winner is…

Marshall McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage

Marshall McLuhan - The Medium is the Massage

The Backstory to the Book

Marshall McLuhan was a pioneering figure in the 1960s based on his studies of the emerging electronic technologies. He is perhaps best known for his catch phrases ‘The Medium is the Message’ and the ‘Global Village’. He also predicted the World Wide Web almost 30 years before it was created.

In 1964, McLuhan wrote his definitive book, Understanding Media. It documented the effects of a wide range of important technologies. The Medium is the Massage was a summary of that book.

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Impact One: Visuals

One of the most impressive things about The Medium is the Massage is the visual layout. It was designed by Quentin Fiore. He was a leading graphic designer in the 1960s.

The layout itself was one of the sparks that lead me to conceive of Book Rapper visually. After reading this book I didn’t want to merely read the words of a book anymore. Instead, I wanted the ideas to be presented visually.

Impact Two: Ideas

The second level of impact from this book is the dramatic ideas. McLuhan’s primary way of looking at the technology was to look at the effects they created. This structural approach appealed to me because it dug deep into the core of the principles behind what was going on. In contrast, too many people get lost in the surface content of what is happening.

This inspired me to plot the future of the architecture during my studies in the US which lead to speaking at two of the biggest architectural conferences on the planet as well as writing my book Beyond the Electronic Drawing Board.

Read this because…

You may be interested in this book if you want to see a powerful visual way to represent ideas. Plus, gain a clear insight into some of the underlying patterns of the digital age.


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