It's probably safe to say that most cichlidophiles began their fishkeeping with community fish (tetras, guppies, mollies, etc.). I certainly did. Regardless, all fish keepers at some point in time should have come across the name Dr. Herbert Axelrod, an ichthyologist who was a pioneer in the tropical fish hobby. Dr. Axelrod passed away May 15th at the age of 89.
When I began my fish keeping journey many years ago, one of the first books I purchased was Aquarium Fishes of the World (see photo of my copy below). This book was instrumental in kickstarting that journey. I spent HOURS pouring over photos, reading profiles, etc.
For an extensive peek into the life of Dr. Axelrod, check out Nathan Hill's recent piece in Practical Fishkeeping. A shout out to Vin Kutty for the link.
The Cichlid Room Companion
Tropical Fish Hobbyist
American Cichlid Assoc.
African Cichlid Hub