This made me think back to how I first got wind of the dharma.
While I had actually bought and read two books on Zen in the early 1980s, influenced by John Cage's aleatory music and his discussions of Zen (they were Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, and Zen Flesh and Bones; good choices, but there wasn't much else available at the time), my first real understanding of the dharma occurred in 1989. I was living in Oslo, Norway at the time, after having moved from New York City, where I grew up, to France. My wife was sent as an expat to work on a project, and I had been teaching English as a foreign language in France at the time, and got some work teaching in Oslo.
One day, in the largest bookstore in the center of town, which had a fair number of books in English, I came across a book called The Buddhist Handbook, by John Snelling. (I see that there is an updated edition still in print: http://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Handbook
... 0892817615) It was a simple book discussing the history of Buddhism, but it included a concise introduction to the Buddha's teachings. Now, while I don't remember a lot of precise moments in my life, I do recall sitting near the entrance of Vigelands Parken and reading a few pages of this book, and having a sudden flash of understanding. I don't recall what I read - I think it was a description of the four noble truths - but it lit up my mind in recognition of a truth. (Looking on Amazon at the beginning of chapter two of the book, I see a succinct summary of the dharma that is strongly at odds with the book I cited above. Snelling says: