If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Your favorite books and links
User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 1064
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am
Location: India

If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by fiby41 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:13 am

I ask here because many of my pre-existing values/line of thinking match with those of the forum.

vexed87
Posts: 1483
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:02 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by vexed87 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:02 am

It wasn't just one book that helped me become who I am today. It's a tough one. If I could give any book, I would probably give past self my journal so he could learn from future self's mistakes. ;)

Not the answer you were looking for, I know!

Serious response to the question, my biggest regret is leasing an expensive car so I could move 6 miles to and from work every day. In the process wasting many thousands in potential savings. So in short, a bicycle maintenance reference book like this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0976 ... HF6NHGE5TX

Hopefully past self would have got the hint!

Scrubby
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:46 pm

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by Scrubby » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:33 am

Obviously a book that contains the historic stock prices or sports results for the same period would be ideal, but if that doesn't count then it would probably be The Intelligent Investor. There aren't any books that have influenced my life very much.

GandK
Posts: 1968
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by GandK » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:56 pm

"Your Money Or Your Life."

Two books? Add "Who Moved My Cheese?"

Sclass
Posts: 1679
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by Sclass » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:29 pm

7Wannabe5's posts on sexuality and relationships in this forum.

As if my 17 year old self could have grasped the concepts...,

Dragline
Posts: 4452
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by Dragline » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:02 pm

I had my kid read Early Retirement Extreme before he left for college. But it didn't exist when I was 17.

My 17-year old self really needed to read something like Mindset by Carol Dweck. Not that that book existed then either. But I'm sure something like it did.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11420
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by jacob » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:56 pm


Chad
Posts: 3863
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by Chad » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:18 am

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Took me a long time to understand the extroverted dominated society wasn't the only way. Though, it didn't exist then.

There are other books too, but as Dragline mentioned, I'm not sure my 17 year old self would have understood them or been able to take away much.

What I really wish I would have had was the internet at 17. Growing up in a very rural area with limited experiences or knowledge outside that area can be a major obstacle.

El Duderino
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by El Duderino » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:31 am

Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States

And it just so happens that I did read that book when I was 18 after hearing it referenced in Good Will Hunting.

theanimal
Posts: 1293
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: Gates of the Arctic
Contact:

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by theanimal » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:07 am

The ERE book. I don't think I would have ended up going to college.

Although, I did read it for the first time a month after turning 20. So close enough.

DSKla
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:07 am

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by DSKla » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:08 pm

The most important books I've read probably wouldn't be fully appreciated or implemented by 17-year old me. The old martial arts saying, "when the student is ready, the master appears," seems to have held true to my literary journey. I have always found what I needed at the time, and often it was something that wouldn't have had value to me at an earlier stage of development.

That said, if it had existed and I could be sure I would grasp it, ERE is a pretty obvious choice and it would've lead me to a number of the other books I considered listing.

JamesR
Posts: 914
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:08 pm

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by JamesR » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:39 pm

I think that the main concepts in the ERE/MMM blogs are what I most want to tell my 17 year old self. The ERE book is the closest fit for that currently.

There's another concept about the relationship of capital, power, freedom which I picked up from one of the ERE/MMM forums, combined with reading ERE & Cal Newport's SGTCIY.

I suppose the best book would be the one that you write to yourself. Quick! Write the book you wish you had, and then we'll put it into the ERE time capsule! Time capsules travel backwards too right?

KevinW
Posts: 958
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:45 am

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by KevinW » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:58 am

The ERE book is the first thing that comes to mind.

Alternatively, anything with a strong pro-entrepreneurship you-can-do-it slant would have been good. At that age I had a lot of entrepreneurial aspirations but my parents and teachers convinced me I should focus on schoolwork and grabbing the first rung of the corporate wage-slave ladder instead. :evil:

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5245
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:13 am

No regrets in my bibliographical history but I actually wept when I read "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill when I was around that age because I related so strongly to being oppressed by the "tyranny of the majority." Hmmm...maybe my 50 year old self should read it again.

henrik
Posts: 763
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:58 pm
Location: EE

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by henrik » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:49 am

If I had read the ERE book at 17 (and if it had existed then), I would probably have dismissed it and thus likely denied myself the chance to discover it at a more appropriate time in my life when actually ready to understand the significance. I.e. the fertile soil thing.
I envy those very few under-20-s here who are able and willing to see the whole picture at that age. (I also realise that what I imagine "the whole picture" to be is based on my current limited perspective at twice that age).

slsdly
Posts: 276
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:04 am

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by slsdly » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:48 am

I'm not sure what book I needed (maybe a book about stoicism), but I know the exact date I needed it. I was 12, not 17. I traced the threads enough in my head to know where my train got ripped off its tracks ;).

User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 1064
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am
Location: India

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by fiby41 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:10 am

@slsdly: From personal experience I can say that reading books about things outside your control at that age can cause more confusion than give guidance.

TopHatFox
Posts: 1995
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm
Location: FL; 25

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by TopHatFox » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:51 pm

I read the ERE book at 17, so that one. (:

A close second: How to be Free in an Unfree World, also read by my moody 17-year-old self

arrrrgon
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:42 pm

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by arrrrgon » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:00 pm

I'm not sure the 17 year old me would have listened. He was a bit hard headed.

Ydobon
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:15 am
Location: Scotland

Re: If you could go back and give your 17 year old self one book, what would it be?

Post by Ydobon » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:59 am

I would like to say the ERE book, but my 17 year old self wasn't smart enough to understand it, I'll freely admit that I still don't understand most of the equations (although I can apply them by creating spreadsheets etc.)

Assuming the aim of this exercise is to avoid past mistakes by providing future wisdom, I would punch myself in the face with a copy of The Richest Man in Babylon.

Cheesy, trite and not particularly ambitious, but it teaches some key lessons about saving, investing and avoiding debt. What I really needed as a 17 year old was someone to tell me that I would need to earn a living and find my way in the world, not vague suggestions that university was the way to go.

Haha, my 17 year old self would probably have hated my now self.

Post Reply