I didn’t start reading till I was a young sprig of 17 (comics was all I “read” before that).
And then came Lord Of The Rings, I was mesmerized. I remember vividly when Gandalf died, I cried and didn’t read (or talk much either) for three days.
It got me into the magic of reading and books.
The second book that immediately comes to mind is Anger by Thich Nhat Hanh, a beautiful Vietnamese Buddhist monk. It helped me deal with anger I didn’t even know I had and to deal with a truly difficult situation. For that I am ever filled with gratitude.
The third book would be Meetings with remarkable men by G. I Gurdjieff. This man is probably one of the most remarkable men ever. And the people he meets are also quite a handful. I was especially moved by his and his friends, “search for truth”, which led them to wander all over the world. Many of us have also been on our own journey to the so called truth. I was already doing, without knowing it, quite a few radical things (one of which was being part of a “school” in the middle of a jungle). So to read him was very very inspiring.
Olivier Follmi’s book on photography: Homage to the Himalayas is one of the most beautiful books on photography I have ever seen. It turned the way I take photographs and the way I look at photographs on its head. For nearly three months after seeing this book and buying it, I must not have taken a picture. But walked around, just looking and being inspired. I continue doing this.
I don’t remember which book of Krishnamurthi I first read but at that point of time, it profoundly affected me, firstly by me saying, hey, this guy and me think alike ( the outrageous mind of the 17 year old) and I would love to meet him. The more I read him the more I started to understand what I was thinking. This is no longer true for me now. As I realise that I am more of a feel person rather than a person who analyses and is stuck in the brain.