If you do not read, then you are losing out on the opportunity to live hundreds of lives though books. Life is too short to live through the myriad experiences it has to offer. That’s why we have books. They take us through shots of adventures and learnings that we may, otherwise, never come across. Reading encourages imagination, improves analytical thinking, ability to express oneself, and what not.

If you always wanted to read books, but could never put your finger on what to read, here is a list of ten books which are among the best teachers that you will ever find. These are in no particular order. Take a dive and enjoy.

The Alchemist

Published in 1988, the original version of the book is in Portuguese. This is a story of self-discovery, a small book with a big message. This masterpiece by Paulo Coelho will inspire you to take risks to pursue your dreams. The book is simple to read, but it speaks a lot to anyone who is ready to listen. It has inspired me in the darkest of days and I am pretty sure it will do the same for you as well.

Conversations with God

Irrespective of your religious beliefs or the lack of it, this book is worth your time. Written by Neil Donald Walsch and published in 1995, this book follows the conversations between a mortal and God. As you may have anticipated, it covers many topics that range from spirituality, love, to even politics and education. This book will make you question your environment, your world and even your very existence. Take this soul-searching journey today and get to know yourself better.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Interesting name, huh! Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of the book, has condensed his two long years’ worth of study in this interesting read. What you can find in this book is probably the answer to one of the most asked questions – How to make life more meaningful? ‘Flow’, as the author calls it, is the deep sense of absorption, which makes the life’s experiences more satisfying. Read this research based and interesting book on happiness to find your own recipe for a good life. It is a must read.

Sophie’s World

Another gem of a book, Sophie’s World, takes you on a journey with a teenage girl, Sophie Amundsen, and her rendezvous with a philosopher, who introduces her to the world of philosophy. As the book progressed, I got engrossed in it even more and more. It touched upon some of the most fundamental questions that we ask ourselves daily, such as who we are, about the world around us. It actually made me think about all this and much more. The book came out in 1991 and has been authored by Jostein Gaarder.

The Road Less Travelled

Written by M.Scott Peck in 1978, this is a non-fiction book. It analyzes the complex human emotions and concepts and puts forth the path to spiritual development. It took me a little more time to read this book, as it is more of a guide for having a fulfilled life, rather than a novel. However, the time spent on it was well worth it.

There are many more books out there that will make you think and take a harder look at your life. Some other titles that I would suggest are Life of Pi, The Giving Tree, The Red Tent, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Power of One, and Into the Wild. Do let me know how you liked them and your thoughts on them.

Finding time to read these books can be challenging too.  What I suggest is carving out “Me” time.  That’s when you have an non-interrupted period where you can go and dive right into them.  I try to do it at least every or every other day for 30-60 minutes.  I’ll sit out on my back patio and look out at the gorgeous scenery, maybe dip my toes in my hot tub and soak in the pleasure.

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