The First Book

Now that my breathtaking new office is done, with wall to wall and floor to ceiling bookcases, I’m trying to decide what should be the first book I bring into the new sacred space.

Should it be one of my own books?

One of my friends?office nerissa

Or one of the many rare, even autographed books by authors I love, such as Neville Goddard, P.T. Barnum, Claude Bristol, Joseph Murphy, Edward Bernays, Jack London, Mark Twain, William Saroyan, Shirley Jackson, Robert Collier, Napoleon Hill or – ?

I have a huge collection of books on marketing, copywriting, publicity, metaphysics, spirituality, fitness, muscle building, magic, hypnosis and more.

But of all these books, which one deserves to be the very first to gain entrance into my new office?

I went out to dinner with friends and told them of my challenge. One of them was an author and of course wanted his book to be the first in my office. Another friend suggested I have a contest and let people vote on the book that should be first.

None of it felt exactly right. We left dinner and went walking. We stumbled across a new art gallery. Inside was the artist showing his work.

It was called “Art that makes you laugh.”

I asked the artist why it was called that.

“Follow me and I’ll show you,” he said.

art laughs

He brought me to a painting of two sharks swimming, headed to a judge’s bench in a courtroom.

I didn’t see anything funny about that.

“Read the caption,” the artist said.

I looked and read, “Counsel approaching the bench.”

I laughed.

Turns out the artist has been drawing humorous pictures like that one for decades. He’s known for his unique art. He’s a former advertising guy turned artist. Apparently he’s doing just fine.

I bought three of his paintings for my new office.

And a copy of his book.

His book is a collection of his funny art, titled, Are You Laughing At My Art?

I took it home and put it in my office.

Before I knew it, I realized I had finally brought a book into my new space.

But it didn’t feel like the right first book, as I had no previous relationship with it, so I didn’t put it on a shelf.

Instead, I grabbed my signed copy of Napoleon Hill’s famous book, Think and Grow Rich, and a first edition of Hill’s book, How to Sell Your Way Through Life.

office new books

Those two books are classics of success literature. They look wonderful on my shelf, too.

Now, what will be the third book I put on the shelf?

Ao Akua,


PS — The artist is Jeff Leedy. That’s him in the photo with me. Funny guy. His site is right here. Top photo is of my new office with Food Powers Queen Nerissa Oden posing in it.

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  1. Josh-Reply
    December 6, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    “Your Portable Empire.”

  2. December 6, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Hello Joe,
    I love the choices of books you made as your first in the new book cases.
    Blessings, Barry

  3. December 6, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    The office looks amazing. Congratulations on the completion. I’m sure it will be a blessed sanctuary and the origin of many brilliant creations.

  4. December 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Joe! I suggest this book for the first one on any new book shelf!

    thanks, love, sorry, forgive,

    Mtn. Jim

  5. December 7, 2009 at 2:43 am

    3rd book for me would be “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupéry . Great to see your new space !

    • December 7, 2009 at 6:08 pm

      The Little Prince is a GREAT book! One of the best I have ever read.. And I agree that Joe should read it if he has not already and put it in his GORGEOUS new library/office space!

  6. julie-Reply
    December 7, 2009 at 8:51 am

    I think your best bible should be your first book.
    I’m sorry,Please forgive me, I love you and Thank you

  7. December 7, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    How to Sell Your Way Through Life sounds like a PERFECT choice for you JOe!


  8. Sylwia-Reply
    December 9, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Hello Joe,
    in my opinion the third book should be your own ” The Key”. It is amazing how it helped me:)
    Best Regards from Poland
    Peace and Love

  9. Josh-Reply
    December 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Maybe the first book that ever got you through.When you were at your darkest.

    • Ravin-Reply
      December 9, 2009 at 11:39 pm

      Agree with you, it should be first, because Joe started his journey with it. It will be great idea!

  10. Cristina-Reply
    December 10, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Hi, Joe! I am so happy for you, you’ve got really beautiful shelves! I think you should place a book of yours, your personal favorite, beside Napoleon Hill’s books. You gotta put yourself up there with him, because your books, too, are success classics 🙂

  11. Tom-Reply
    December 10, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Hello Joe.

    Unfortunately, I do not know English, because I write these words from the dictionary. I wanted to ask you to contact us via e-mail. I have a lot to write positively of course. Niezabraknie or questions. 🙂 Remember we Poles, of course, not all have the temperament, so if we are condemned to succeed, we read different books motivating. One of them is me. I read different books and eventually broke down, I lost interest in life. In the same time, I went with her parents to a person engaged in financial business dad. My parents and brother released to the big hypermarket. We went to the bookstore ‘Empik’ and went immediately to the books. Reviewing different books, I look at the bookcase and one of the books were reversed that is not to be seen on the front cover. Something moved me to see her. (Write these words tears in my eyes stand out of luck) Because the book narafiłem Fri: ‘The key to the secret’. I opened it, read the first 7 cards and just felt already transformed:). Very joe you please email me at mail. I want to tell you about their experiences already at the beginning of this adventure.

    Yours And thank you for this great book
    Tom you’re a reader of Polish

    P.S. If something is badly written, ie I’m sorry I did not understand English, I can not just learn it because I have some dream:) what I’ll write you in the mail.

  12. December 11, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Hi Joe,
    I love wood floor!! Your office semms to be fantastic. The place to write in peace new bestsellers…

  13. December 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Imagine that you were put to prison. But, let to take with itself one book… 🙂

  14. December 30, 2009 at 4:17 am

    “Occult Science, An Outline” by Rudolf Steiner

  15. Eric Webb-Reply
    January 10, 2010 at 5:25 pm


    How about Your books…. after all it is your writing that got you to where you are at. Especially the 3rd book… PT Barnum…. or any of Neville’s writings.

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