Originally Posted by fjtorres
The best influences, literary or personal, are those that help you figure yourself out. It's not about changing your mind but helping you identify/express what you are comfortable with.
Some people do adopt entire belief systems out of a book or a group but that is rarer since it means they are uncomfortable with the whole way they were living. Very unhappy place to be.
Most people tend to evolve worldviews over time, a bit here and a bit there, and don't switch them in oe fell swoop. Those self-help book reviews--"It changed my entire life!"? They better be hype!
A book that triggers an epiphany is pretty rare, but some books push you subtly in a direction that has a huge impact. Sometimes it only takes a pebble to start an avalanche.