Yoko Ono once laughed at me, I was standing, at the time, on her bed. Two days later, in a kitchen on rue du bac, British Fashion Designer Paul Smith was asking me if I thought his shirts looked a little too camp for normal guys, he makes an excellent cup of tea, by the way. While a week earlier the actress Natasha Kinski flirted with me in St Germain en Laye.
I was 19 and I spent most of my days in the homes of Millionaires and Global Celebrities.
I was just a normal guy working in the strange business of Arts and Antiques for Christie's Auction House Paris. I was a member of a motley crew of portuguese and french delivery guys moving priceless works of art to the city's elite homes.
I once accidentially bent the finger of a Rodin and I'm pretty sure one of Picasso's lesser works is a tone darker thanks to my sweaty hands. But I was the specialist, because as the saying goes 'in the world of the blind, the seeing man is king' because I could speak english and our clients were too wealthy to learn french. Except for maybe John Malkovich, his french was pretty impressive.
My student job would have ended there if it had not been for one simple question I asked every single client. This question opened the door to conversations about everything else.
Can I see your bookshelf?
That was the question that brought a light to everybody's eye. Here was I, a young irish delivery guy, asking these people what they read. But they got it and not only did they show me, they opened up about what books mattered most to them. Most of the time, I left with a book in my bag, that they insisted I had to read.
Years later, I still have my list, only the list was replaced by a bookshelf which I share with close friends and it has grown.
Before Tim Ferriss ever wrote Tools of Titans, or James Altucher spread his Choose Yourself mantra; these were the books I found most often in the homes of the most successful people I met that summer in Paris...1 As a Man Thinkethhttps://www.amazon.com/As-Man-Thinketh-Peace-Bonus/dp/150777768X/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1486827620&sr=8-12&keywords=as+a+man+thinketh2 Think and Grow Richhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193787950X/ref=abs_brd_tag_dp?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER3 How to Win Friends and Influence Peoplehttps://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671027034/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487155342&sr=1-1&keywords=How+to+Win+Friends+and+Influence+People4 Meditationshttps://www.amazon.com/Meditations-Vita-Beata-Marcus-Aurelius/dp/151473219X/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487155381&sr=1-8&keywords=meditations+marcus+aurelius+seneca5 Self Reliancehttps://www.amazon.com/Self-Reliance-Essays-Millionaires-Library/dp/1523263849/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487155430&sr=1-2&keywords=Self+Reliance6 The Power of Positive Thinkinghttps://www.amazon.com/Power-Positive-Thinking-Norman-Vincent/dp/0743234804/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487155496&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Power+of+Positive+Thinking7 Waldenhttps://www.amazon.com/Walden-Writings-Henry-David-Thoreau/dp/1539346218/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486828261&sr=1-1&keywords=15393462188 The Jefferson Biblehttps://www.amazon.com/Jefferson-Bible-Morals-Jesus-Nazareth/dp/1542913160/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487155645&sr=1-3&keywords=The+Jefferson+Bible9 The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklinhttps://www.amazon.com/Autobiography-Benjamin-Franklin/dp/1508744823/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486828562&sr=1-1&keywords=15087448239 Siddharthahttps://www.amazon.com/Siddhartha-Bonus-Dhammapada-Story-Buddha/dp/1508479976/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486828636&sr=1-1&keywords=1508479976
Have these books influenced you? Can you add to my list?