So today I went to the book store. I made the mistake of bringing a friend with me. I went to buy a book by Gene Wolfe or George RR Martin, but ended up buying Foundation and Prelude to Foundation instead. Not to say I'm not looking forward to them, I've read the first pages of each and can't wait to start them in earnest after I finish the book I'm reading (A God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, a highly toted, Booker Prize winning novel that I've found absolutely insufferable). Anyway, my question is this: which should I read first? I'm inclined to start with Foundation, and then continue with the series in the order it was published (which would mean that the Prelude to Foundation I bought would basically be useless until I read the first six novels). I feel like this will give me the same experience that most readers, as well as Asimov himself to some degree, had. But my friend says to start with Prelude to Foundation and then continue chronologically, according to the Foundation universe. I understand the intention with such a suggestion, but there's something about this that feels weirdly wrong, like I might ruin something for myself later in the series. So, as in all times of indecision, I put my fate in the hands of OT. Which would you recommend I start with?