Pick up a book !
Books and I have had a constant love affair since before I could stand on my own. My Grandmother’s were both teachers and taught the love of learning and reading to my parents when they were small and they in turn passed it on to me. I remember in the living room of the house I grew up in, my Dad turned one whole wall into floor to ceiling bookshelves and he also built a bookshelf on one of the walls in my bedroom.
The library was my saving grace in a world I rarely understood and I clearly remember progressing from the children’s section, to the young adults section, and on to the adult's section.
Nothing has changed and I’m still an avid library goer taking out an average of 12-15 books every 3 weeks. I mostly take out non-fiction, although I enjoy a fiction if it is written by someone who I respect and admire and has a lesson to impart.
I have over 550 books in my home library
and although I still purchase the odd book
( I try to avoid bookstores as I know the minute I enter one, I won’t be leaving empty handed) however I have run out of wall space and bookshelves and have many books packed away in boxes so try not to buy too many anymore.
My weakness is antique books and I have a small collection which I add to now and then. Oftentimes clients will give me an antique book when they find out I’m a collector.
The most recent gift from cherished clients and friends is an antique book on gardening, which touched me immensely since gardening is a passion of mine.
There are some books that are literally alive for me. I revisit them regularly and they are like old friends that forever have new wisdom to impart when ever I pick them up again.
These are the books that have inspired me the most throughout time and which I own and still read whenever I’m feeling lost or confused or need to be reminded of something important:
- Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson ~ I highly recommend that all women
buy this book and read it, not just once, but many times, until you understand and accept just how valuable that you, as women, are to society and the world around you. If your self-esteem has been battered and you are feeling not-too-strong, read this book.
- Return to Love another book by Marianne Williamson~ Whenever you forget the reason you are here and begin to be dragged down by the negativity around you, pick this book back up and be reminded of why we are all here. It will give you a sense of how to navigate in a world that often seems mad at every turn and help you to know when you are on the right track, and when you have fallen off.
- The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran ~ Not much can be said about this perennial
favourite other than it is a required reading for all people the world over.
I first bought it when I was 13 yrs old and it became a constant
companion of mine. To this day it still sits on my bedside table and I pick it up whenever I am confused or need to be reminded once more of what ‘love’ is or why certain things in life are painful or why things are the way they are.
- Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
~ Quite simply, a Masterpiece of depth for the sensitive
woman to decipher the code of life and those codes within herself.
This book has been a constant saviour of mine and has been a guide through the most difficult times of my life. I have gained strength, self-esteem, a new sense of self-worth and learned to have borders around myself for protection, all as a result of digesting the various astounding, insightful chapters within this book.
- The Bible~ goes without explanation.
- In The Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant ~ Iyanla is another spiritual guru who has
incredible insight and is one of the greatest mentors and teachers I have ever had. Her books teach you to look within for the reasons your life looks the way it does on
Manual of the Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho ~ Simply the best book I’ve read in many years and one which I’ve re-read and re-read until I’ve felt the words burned
into my soul itself.
Best Business Book I've Ever Read:
The Power of Focus: How to Hit your Business, Personal and Financial Targets With Absolute Certainty by
Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hanson and Les Hewitt ~ This book is the best manual I've ever found to help harness the skills, gifts and knowledge we each carry within and apply them to our business endeavours. A 'no-holds barred' kind of book.
The Most Disturbing Book I’ve Ever Read:
People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck. ~ I still think about this book and can honestly say I stopped
reading it approximately 2/3rds of the way through since I don’t believe in the ‘devil’ nor the word ‘evil’.
However the book does bring to light some very disturbing and puzzling things about how people of the ‘lie’ not only lack empathy, but also a conscience and some of them who fall under the classification of the religious word ‘evil’, according to Peck.
I’ve come across some of these kinds of people in my lifetime and I still do not quite know what to make of them….why they do what they do, what is their motive, what they get out of it, why some people get such pleasure out of the pain of others.
Two of the Books I’m currently reading:
The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey ~ excellent book on how to find your voice and inspire
others to find theirs
The Okinawa Program by Bradley and Craig Wilcox ~ another book on what to do to maintain optimum health and longevity based on the practices of the Okinawans, a people who live on an island off the coast from Japan. The most interesting thing I’ve taken away from this book is the fact that the most important factor in maintaining longevity and happiness is ‘community’ and connection to others. Humans need to love and be loved; it’s as simple and as complex as that.
I'd really appreciate knowing which books have been the most important to you in the course of your life and which ones you regularly re-visit for guidance and inspiration. Also, if you would tell me the most disturbing book you’ve ever read and perhaps an excellent one you are currently reading. Don't worry about the length of your comment...I enjoy reading long comments.
Jo-Anne Smith, the author of this article, is a REALTOR® with Royal Lepage Proalliance Realty, Brokerage, in Belleville, Ontario and welcomes your real estate inquiries. To contact her, visit www.QuinteRegionRealEstate.com