What’s in your Library?


I was sitting at home this morning looking for some inspiration for this post and decided to look on my bookshelf for ideas.

While sifting through all the books there on positive mental attitude and self improvement that I have purchased and read many times over the years, there was one that stood out for me.

It was the first self improvement book I ever read and was given to me by my father when I was nineteen. I could not tell you how many times I’ve read it and it’s full of highlighting and side notes – lucky it was a hard cover or it would have fallen to pieces.

booksThat book is Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. it was first published in 1937 and is still in print today, in fact I just purchased the Kindle Edition so I can have it with me on my iPad at all times.

Back in 1978 when I received this book, I was photographing weddings, working for my parents photography studio. Believe it or not, the hardest part of the job was, as a very young man, taking control of a very emotional occasion and getting people, much older than me, to do what I asked them to, happily and quickly. Wedding photography became a lot easier for me when I started to apply the methods and attitudes I learned from this book.

The cover of the book asked the questions I needed answers to…

  1. What are the six ways of making people like you?
  2. What are the twelve ways of winning people to your way of thinking?
  3. What are the nine ways to change people without giving offence or arousing resentment?

Now that I had the answers to these questions, I simply developed those skills over the years so that whenever I photographed a wedding or family group, individual or even a dog – I was able to think in terms of what the other person wanted and help them get it in the most efficient manner. But the ideas and techniques I learned were valuable in all areas of my life, both business and personal and are all still relevant today.

What books have influenced you? The photo above shows some of my collection of books that have all in their own way, for better or worse, created the person I am today.

I’d love to know what books have inspired you and helped improve your life.

Tell me what you think



2 replies
  1. Jennifer Harris
    Jennifer Harris says:

    The first self help book I read was by the same author as your favourite Mark – “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. Well I’m still trying to do the former ha ha, but it was definitely a start. I’ve read and still dip into a stack of official self help books, but I actually find something helpful in most of what I read. Just a line or paragraph in the most unexpected places can resonate with me and bring me clarity, a different perspective or appreciation of being.

  2. Jenn
    Jenn says:

    One of the great books I own is ‘The Art of Happiness’ – the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler
    The book counteracts the way a ‘western’ Psychiatrist gives advice to patients against how the Dalai Lama will view and deal with situations. The Dalai Lama speaks in very simple terms… by that I mean he can look at big issues/situations and explain what is happening in a matter-of-fact way, then gives a very truthful and extremely useful answer to dealing with it. There were many times whilst reading the book, where the Dalai Lama would suggest a way of coping with something, where I’d just think ‘my goodness, why didn’t i think of it that way?’
    I’d have to say that this book has helped me more than any other – for life in general and through some very hard times. The most exciting thing is, that i will be going to see the Dalai Lama speak in 2 weeks… and this book will accompany me!

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