Hide the iPads, give your kid's books
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda is one of the world's most acclaimed spiritual classics.
What book(s) are you reading right now?
The bestseller, Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman. Fuhrman is an author, physician and nutritional researcher who specialises in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. He advocates what he calls a "micronutrient-rich diet". The book delivers the key principles of the science of health, nutrition and weight loss.
The book that changed your life and shaped your outlook, and why?
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda is one of the world's most acclaimed spiritual classics. As the life story of Paramahansa Yogananda, who is often referred to as the Father of Yoga in the West, the book talks about miracles, spirituality and yogic teachings. It has inspired and guided me since I was 20 years old. I always have copies in French, Italian and English (the three languages I read) on my bookshelf! His words of wisdom are timeless and accessible to everyone; it's the best present I can give to my friends.
Which titles or authors can you pick up and read any time, and why?
Any books by renowned physician and philosopher Deepak Chopra. His leitmotiv is that the body is a reflection of the mind, "a symbol in flesh and blood of everything you think and feel". I love that Chopra practises holistic medicine, as the state of wholeness is the basis of all healing, and that meditation, visualisation, yoga, massage and nutrition are his tools.
Which books would you love to pass on to your children (or any young person) to read and treasure, and why?
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Though it seems directed at children, the author is, in fact, addressing all of us. His text offers various lecture levels, from the fairy tale to the philosophical story. The Little Prince characterises narrow-mindedness as a trait of adults. Children, on the other hand, are imaginative, open-minded, aware of and sensible to the mystery and beauty of the world. His main message is that everything and every being hides a treasure, a mystery that we have to break through. Beyond appearances, there is the spirit that must be discovered within the heart. The book is rich in symbolism: a star for hope, a desert for a learning place, a rose for love, a train for a journey, an animal for friendship and responsibility etc. These are powerful educative elements for kids.
What advice do you have for parents looking to inculcate a love of reading in their kids?
My best advice to parents is to switch off the TV, and hide the iPads and video games. Sit your child down with books of his age and read together as much as you can.