Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Fall Into Reading Challenge Question #7 & Update

You may recall that I have joined the Fall Into Reading Challenge hosted over at Callapidder Days.  She is posing a question each week, and this week's question is:

Is there a book that has had a tremendous impact on your life? One that made you look at life in a whole new way, or caused you to completely change something in your life?

You know, there is a book that had a tremendous impact on me, but I'm almost embarrassed to admit it because it was such a buzzed-about book for so many years.  In my late 20's, based on a colleague's recommendation, I read Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.  It was almost a joke at the time because this colleague, a man about 30 years older than me, was a good friend and was totally obsessed with Stephen Covey, so much so that another friend and I used to jokingly refer to him as Saint Stephen in our friend's presence.  But my friend lent me a set of audio tapes of Stephen Covey, and I have to admit, I was hooked.  I then devoured every word of the best-seller.

Based on the title, I expected a self-help book about business success, but the seven basic "habits" he discussed were so much more; they were about treating people with kindness and respect.  It was really a revelation to me.  It's not that I was a mean person or anything - more just self-absorbed and somewhat oblivious, like most young people!  Some of Covey's habits - like Be Kind To Those Not in Your Presence and Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood - literally changed my way of looking at the world and interacting with people.  In fact, I haven't read the book in over 20 years, and it's probably time to read it again.

Katrina over at Callapidder Days says today is also about the half-way point for the challenge and time to report on our progress.  Of my list of 10 grown-up books to read in fall, I have so far read 3 of them.  Several of the books on my list are book group selections, with the meetings coming up soon, so I know I will get through the rest soon.  I'll post a separate update (and a separate answer to the question) at Great Books for Kids and Teens.

What book has had a tremendous impact on your life?

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