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There is very little difference between someone who cannot read and someone who will not read. The result of either is ignorance. Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary. We must not permit anything to stand between us and the book that could change our lives.

Related: Read All the Books to Rise Above the Ordinary

You can start with these seven books and see where the journey of reading takes you, how much higher you can climb because of the growing stack of books under your feet. Read, read read—and let the books touch you, make you think, challenge your views and carry you to new horizons.

1. The Bible

The best-selling book of all time tells the story of sin and redemption, the story of mankind, of despair and hope. It is quite literally the story of our lives.

2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This is arguably the best personal development and wealth building book of all time. It belongs on everyone’s bookshelf.

3. How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler

This book will teach you to do just what the title promises: how to read a book for all it is worth so that you come out the best you can be at the end.

4. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

This book will ground you in the belief that whatever you believe you become. It’s based on the idea that we are what we think.

5. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Written in parables, this is a classic on thrift, financial planning and personal wealth. Everyone needs to read this book.

6. The Lessons of History by William James Durant

This book gives insight as good as any book on the changes that have taken place over time in economics, politics, military customs and more—very insightful.

7. The Story of Philosophy by William James Durant

In this book, Durant summarizes the lives and influence of philosophy’s greatest thinkers. This is very important for us, as we know that our philosophy determines how we live and what we achieve.

Related: 25 Books for Success

This post originally appeared on SUCCESS.com.

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