I can still remember where I was when my life changed. Sitting on the beach reading Diet for a New America
, and I thought to myself, "I can stop eating meat." If we're lucky we all encounter a book or books that will change our lives. Right now my partner is reading The Omnivore's Dilemma
and it's another change. We're blessed to live in a city with several farmers' markets so that we can easily shop for sustainably produced foods and rely less on processed foods from supermarkets.
From my coworkers I've heard several stories of life-changing books. For James it was The Power of Myth. He realized that our culture and religions are part of a bigger story. For India it was reading Virginia Woolf's Orlando. She was 21 years old and suddenly she saw the world with new eyes.
For Karin it was a recent book ? The Long Emergency. She's already pretty "Green" but this book has caused her to make changes to her daily life. When you read a book like that one, or say, Fast Food Nation, you can't go back to your old ways. Or, at least I couldn't.
Sometimes the changes happen early in life. Lynn (The Viper) was in fourth grade when she picked up a book by her mom's favorite author. The book was Anthem by Ayn Rand. I had a similar experience reading Slaughterhouse-Five in fifth grade. Most of it went over my head, but wow, what a mind-blowing experience.
I'm sure that some of you have had life changing moments with books ? maybe it was Ishmael or The Celestine Prophecy or The Alchemist. Or maybe it was something completely different... I'd love to know.