Updated: Apr 23
Anyone who has ever met me knows that I love books and always have one to recommend. I have caught myself many times trying to guide people (sometimes complete strangers) towards the right book. I also have the tendency, when I realise someone will benefit from a specific book, to leave one "accidentally" in their house, lend them one from my personal collection (although I have noticed in such cases they rarely find their way back to me) or gift them one. Books are a magical gift to the world. They have the ability to talk to your soul, allow the mind to travel to extraordinary places and help you find solutions to almost any problem. One extraordinary thing about books though (and I hope I’m not the only weirdo out there that thinks this…) is that they talk to you and are read exactly when they need to be. Whenever I enter a bookstore, I just follow my gut feeling and buy that book that reaches out to me. However, I must admit, many times those that prompted me to purchase them may stay on my bookshelf for years before I am ready to read them, but they are always read EXACTLY when I need them.
My passion for books started from a very young age. I have childhood memories of constantly fighting with my brothers for me to get out of the toilet. There is a relevance here, promise! We only had one in the house I grew up in and I would go in with a book and many times would not come out until I had finished it (please don’t judge me!). I would read so many books a month, that at some point my dad just stopped taking me to the book store to buy me books and signed me up at the local library instead.
Nevertheless, there was a point in my life that I lost my connection to books. I was born in London to Greek Cypriot parents but at the age of 12 we relocated to Cyprus. Although I understood Greek at the time, I was not a native speaker and initially struggled with the change from an English speaking school to a Greek one. So, at that point in my life, I lost touch with reading due to my struggle with the Greek language but also because books written in English were no longer that easily accessible. During my school years in Cyprus, I was terrified to even attempt to read a book in Greek. Thankfully, at the age of 19, now an extremely confident Greek speaker, writer and reader, I started to read again and reconnected to my passion.
Over the years my book passion evolved to include more and more self-help and personal growth books. These books help me heal, challenge my status quo, upgrade my thoughts and help me improve and grow as a human being. Additionally, they give me the tools to serve and help others heal too and overcome issues they may be facing. People have amazing strengths and beauty that can be magnified if we help each other.
Now how any times have you heard someone say “That book changed my life!”. Did you ever end up reading that same book but find that it didn’t have the same effect on you? Or maybe find another book that spoke to your soul more?
A book that is mentioned by many to have changed their lives is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
I personally struggled to get through it the first time (I obviously was not ready then) but am currently reading it again and it is opening a whole new world of possibilities to me.
I would like to tell you a short story about Think and Grow Rich while I was struggling through its chapters the first time I attempted to read it. Pre Covid-19 and the lock-down era, I would frequently head to one of my two favourite bookstores in London to find a good read (Hatchards on Piccadilly or Waterstones on Tottenham Court Road – both equally great bookstores that I hope we can visit again sometime soon). I would always head to the self-help section and just follow my instinct. The self-help section in Waterstones is on the lower floor where there is also a café you can enjoy some tea, coffee and cake. Oh, how I miss those days!
On one occasion in 2018, I headed to Waterstones and as I was walking down the stairs to the lower floor, two people (a guy and a girl) rushed by me. I was quite struck by the high intensity of their energies and felt so drawn to them. I saw them head to the self-help section and pick up the book Think and Grow Rich and then sit down in the coffee shop chit chatting about it like there was no tomorrow. I was so drawn to them that without even knowing why, I walked over to them and said “Sorry to interrupt, but could I please ask you why you picked up that specific book?”. The guy looked at me with sincere kindness in his eyes and said “I have read it before and wanted to show it to my friend”. He then asked me what I thought of the book and I replied saying that the “riches” is not something material, but a state of mind and a feeling in your heart. He smiled and said that he doesn’t believe in coincidences and asked me to join them. I said ok and he rushed to get a chair for me to sit with them. What followed was one of the most amazing, genuine and heartfelt discussions I have ever had with two complete strangers. I went to learn that the guy had been through a very difficult period in his life, details of which I will not disclose as that is his story to tell. What I will share though is that he read this book at a time needed and made a promise to himself to change, and he did! I don’t remember if I said it out loud or in my head, but I felt so grateful that this person shared his story with me and for having the courage to change his life and pursue his dreams. Although we exchanged numbers, we never spoke again, yet the encounter, conversation and the book will always have a special place in my heart.
Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill is one of the few books I have never given to anyone from my personal collection but have encouraged many to read it. I’m not sure if I can attribute my life changing to this book or to any single book for that matter. There are many books I have read and felt something shift within me. Below is a list of a few of the most influential books I have read to date. I will mention these again in future posts, so once again stay tuned for more details. I have added links to all books in case they sound appealing to you.
Practicing the Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle: This book is not the known book The Power of Now by the same author that many people talk about and say has changed their lives, but a small summary of it. The original book needs to be read when you are in the right mind space and have already embarked on a journey to discover yourself. Practicing the Power of Now can literally be read in one afternoon and will make you realise that you have been acting from a place of Ego which is detrimental to your growth and existence.
You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay: Louise Hay is probably one of the kindest authors and people that have crossed this planet. You only need to hear her voice once to realise this. I encourage everyone to read this book at least once. This book needs to be read with an open mind as it links all diseases to a limiting belief you carry. It also talks about how we choose everything that happens in our lives, including our parents at birth. Embedded within the book is a list taken from another book (Heal your body) linking diseases to a probable cause driven by a limiting belief and also provides the new thought pattern you should adopt.
Attached, Dr Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A: Attached is one book I read recently and wish I had read years ago! I also believe it is a book that everyone should read. It explains the three types of attachment styles (anxious, secure and avoidant) and how understanding them can help you find and maintain healthy relationships. I found this book mind opening. I identified my own attachment style and feel I have the tools to identify others attachment styles and thus avoid a lot of unnecessary pain in the future.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Robin Sharma: Robin Sharma has a magical ability to transfer knowledge is a very simple way. His books are easy reads but full of valuable messages. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a great first experience to his collection of books and is derived on the authors personal experiences after leaving his career as a lawyer. The book is part of a series of books and I encourage you to read them all! I think one of my favourite of the series is The Secret Letters of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari which I have read twice, once in Greek and once in English! Other great reads other that the series from Robin Sharma include The Leader Who Had No Title and The Saint, The Surfer And The CEO. I will also revert back with another post on his new book (The 5 AM Club) and the benefits of starting your day at 5am, once I have read it and also have an opinion on the early wake up.
The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman: If you are in a relationship or would like to be in one, this is a great read to help you understand how you (and your partner) perceive and understand love. The author explains there are 5 “languages” of speaking love. Every person has a primary love language they “speak” and possibly a secondary one too. If your love language and your partners is not the same, then it can be difficult for them to understand your acts of love and vice versa. If you want to find out your love language before reading the book, click here and take the test now!
Comment below on this post which book changed your life and whether you liked any of the books above!
-> Fun fact for the book lovers and globe trotters… Inside the Municipal Library in Prague you can find a book tower. The tower has strategically placed mirrors inside that makes this jenga looking book tower look never-ending. Click here to see pictures.