I've never studied philosophy, nor have I previously been interested in it, but I feel like I need to esablish a philosophical foundation on which my personal stance on various political and perhaps even spiritual ideologies will be allowed to develop. My social ineptitude (due to chronic mental illness) has prevented me from being exposed to many important aspects of life and I believe philosophy could help me with that. Therefore I've come here to search for book recommendations. I am looking for a book that serves well for someone who has never studied philosophy before. If you feel like you need to know more speific information about me in order to recommend a book please ask me questions and I'll try to answer them.
In my intro to philosophy course, we read only one book -- Plato's Republic. It is a cornerstone of Western philosophical thought, but I was also reading a lot of eastern philosophy at the time as well -- Buddhist texts and Lao Tzu's Dao De Jing.
Philosophy is your own personal journey into the fundamentals of human knowledge. Start where you feel most comfortable but don't jump right into the heavy stuff. Pick something fun that interests you & see where it goes from there.
May your journey be fruitful.