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Feb 7, 2008

What ITIL books to read?

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. - Mark Twain

What ITIL books to read? Depends on where do you want to go. Let's examine the main possible reasons for reading ITIL books:

  • Say you just want to get acquainted with the matter and decide what to do next. Plenty of texts on the internet, executive summaries, and stuff bordering with copyright laws. That's all you need. If you have the money, you can hire an ITIL consultant and he will supply you with enough materials and knowledge in short time. This could save you a lot of effort searching and filtering, i.e. the before mentioned money. Also, read a free copy of An Introductory Overview of ITIL V3.

  • Maybe you just want to certify in ITIL Foundation, without further ambitions, let's say that your company wants you to. Go to the training, they will supply all the necessary material. Find the question examples on the internet, practice a little, and you have some 70% chance of passing the exam. Read ITIL3 Foundations Exam Questions and ITIL3 Foundations Exam Questions2. Also, if you have the access to Introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle (ITIL Version 3), take it home and read it overnight. Not the night before the exam, you want to get a good night sleep before it.
    This is a VERY good book. All the important graphics and tables are in there, all stages described on a moderate detail level. If it was just a bit more specific on process details, it would be ideal one-in-all book for Foundation exam preparation.

  • Finally, maybe you want to become an expert in ITIL. Download and browse all you want, but in the end, you will want to read these books:
    Itil Lifecycle Publication Suite, Version 3: Continual Service Improvement, Service Operation, Service Strategy, Service Transition, Service Design
    Borrow, steal, or buy them. Or better, make your company obtain them. Just READ them. Remember, this is a recommendation, not a self-purpose advertisement. I am not some copyright freak or light-minded advertiser, I deeply believe that knowledge should be more available to people, but if one is serious about things he/she wants to accomplish, then some investments have to be made. And this is a good one. These are well written books and reading them in this starting ITIL v3 era will give you a serious competitive advantage.
As for the version choice, you can read the ITSkeptic article about it. Interesting, I had this article half written and then his one appeared in my RSS feed. And I had to rewrite most of this. Damn.

Ok, so books are available in three versions: PDF, online and hardcopy. My company bought hardcopies of five books set and then we purchased a PDF version of Introduction.
My advice: stick to the hardcopy version. Here is a copy/paste of my comment on ITSkeptic site: PDF is such a drag, we still didn't manage to move it to another PC (and we have 40 hardcore IT system consultants), printer copy is nowhere near usability of a real book and printing more then once is next to impossible.
So go for the real book version. Those who prefer piracy will soon have a plenty of cracked copies on their P2P networks, and good citizens like us will enjoy our books, appreciating the price of our knowledge.

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    Anonymous said...

    Nice dispatch and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you on your information.

    Aastha Gupta said...


    The books mentioned really helped me to know abt ITIL. I need to give a presentaion on ITIL v3. Any place where I can download the slides for the complete thing.


    itil certification said...

    An Introductory Overview of ITIL V3 was surprisingly good considering it was free! I guess some things in life ARE free :-) Thanks for the resource.