Even with two Buffetts in the title, it never sold well, Vail says, not even when Jimmy Buffett (the laid-back singer friend of Warren Buffett, who is no relation) stocked it at his Margaritaville store in Key West, Fla. It's out of print and not among the 47.
When Randy Cepuch submitted Nose Under the Tent: Adventures at Shareholder Meetings, his publisher, Thunder's Mouth Press, persevered on a name change to A Weekend with Warren Buffett: And Other Shareholder Meeting Adventures. Cepuch yielded because the first chapter is about Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, although subsequent chapters are about meetings at other companies, including Citigroup, Google and Gannett, parent company of USA TODAY.
Before changing the name, Cepuch got Buffett's permission. Cepuch balked when Thunder's Mouth Press wanted a photo of Buffett on the cover. Cepuch says he insisted on "more generic artwork."
A 10.2-pound Warren Buffett book
Snowball, the decade-long work by former insurance industry analyst Alice Schroeder, is meaty at 976 pages and ships at 3.6 pounds. But the length record is still held by Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett, which Andrew Kilpatrick revises every year or two. It weighs in at 10.2 pounds, 330 chapters, 1,874 pages and 1,400 photos. The $60 book is two volumes and nearly 400 pages longer than War and Peace. It's so cumbersome that travelers at Eppley International Airport in Omaha — home of Berkshire Hathaway — often have it shipped home, says Jim Ross, manager of the Hudson Booksellers store inside the terminal.
The 47-book library does not double-count revised editions, or any book republished in paperback, nor audio, large-print or e-books. It does not count foreign-language editions, although Buffett is such an international sensation that translations begin as soon as the English version is edited. The Tao of Warren Buffett: Warren Buffett's Words of Wisdom has been published in Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic and 13 other languages, says author Mary Buffett, who divorced Warren Buffett's son Peter in 1993 and has co-authored five books that have the name of her former father-in-law in the title.
Warren Buffett's personal favorite? The Essays of Warren Buffett, by Warren Buffett, which he says is "a coherent rearrangement of ideas from my annual report letters" as edited by Larry Cunningham.
There seems to be a Buffett book for everyone. Even for those more interested in the Dalai Lama than the Oracle of Omaha, there's Warren Buffett and Tao Te Ching: A Modern Investor and an Age-Old Philosophy. Author Yingpei Zhang of San Antonio says he has no reason to believe that Buffett has read the ancient text by Lao Tzu but decided that great minds think alike. Buffett must have independently found an Eastern-like path toward riches by mastering "desirelessness and inactivity, thrift and non-competition," Zhang says.
That may be a way of saying: Buy companies at a bargain and hold them for the long term. Indeed, the new Snowball book is named for a Zen-like Buffett quote: "Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill."