(Nasdaq: AMZN) has been compiling and publishing what it calls "Purchase Circles" for several years now.

With a click of your mouse, you can see which books are most frequently purchased by dozens of public companies, within government branches, at universities, or based on geographic location.

With a slant to the "lighter" side of things, a Fool reader named Brian Dear recently sent us his analysis of the reading choices being made at several large companies.

Brian looked at the books being purchased at 18 different firms, including Boeing(NYSE: BA), Cisco Systems(Nasdaq: CSCO), Microsoft(Nasdaq: MSFT), and Apple Computer(Nasdaq: AAPL), to conclude -- based solely on employee book interests -- which stocks are buys and which are sells.

Of course, this is tongue in cheek. However, the purchase lists should hold at least some interest for shareholders (beyond entertainment value) because they do seem to reflect company culture. Here's what Brian wrote about a few:

  • : Busted! Dreaming about mountain hiking in the Pacific northwest, or reading poems, or reading about babies, or books on happiness. Nobody's readin' up on the business or the next-generation technology! SELL.

  • Boeing : I'll forgive the Camping in Washington book, considering the rest of the list is roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-to-work stuff on everything you'd want Boeing employees to think about. STRONG BUY.

  • Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) : Strictly business. Books about game design and game development dominate their list. And guess what? Their stock chart is appropriately impressive. Keep up the good work, gang. STRONG BUY.

That's curious. Electronic Arts was a stock chosen by David Gardner last May in Motley Fool Stock Advisor. Did he use Purchase Circles to make the choice? It has strongly outperformed. Then again, so has Amazon, which was another Stock Advisor pick (last October at $14).

The rest of Brian's humorous "recommendations" can be read in his blog.

We don't have any words of wisdom to close with. Just a question. Why are Microsoft employees purchasing An Invitation to Contemporary Japanese more than any other book on Amazon? Seventy Japanese game companies are working with Microsoft Xbox, but still. Is there something more to it?

[Fade out with Twilight Zonemusic.]