1 November 2019 Susannah

Enriched by Reading

Netflix - Inside Bill's Brain

I have recently been watching a fascinating Netflix series called ‘Inside Bill’s Brain’ which was all about Bill Gates. I was fascinated that this remarkable man never travels anywhere without his ‘Book Bag’, filled with about 30 books he is keen to read. He likes to go away for breaks in the woods where he can devote all his time to reading and thinking, without any other distractions.

I find that whenever I hear that some famous person is a keen reader, they rise in my estimation. Billionaire Warren Buffet evidently devotes 60% of his day to reading. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is an ardent reader and has started a book club for the Facebook community. Since she was a child, J.K. Rowling has always “lived for books” and named her daughter after another writer (Jessica Mitford); Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela are just some of the political leaders who have adored books.

Reese Witherspoon, Emma Watson, Stephen Fry and Oprah Winfrey have used their fame to widely promote books and the benefits of reading.

Other famous people whose lives are hugely enriched by reading include David Bowie, Elon Musk, Prince Charles, Michelle Obama, and many more. I remember hearing once that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was proud that she never read novels – well, she dropped in my estimation from that moment. Donald Trump has stated he does not have time for reading. In my view, the world would be a better place if he read at least one novel or history book a week! Studies done investigating the reasons behind the success of very successful people show that reading is a strong common factor.

And on the subject of book bags … In W. Somerset Maugham’s excellent short story The Book Bag the narrator never goes anywhere without a large laundry bag stuffed with books. He did once find himself stuck in Java without a book and the experience was so traumatic, he’s well supplied with books from that moment. You might enjoy the story.

Do you carry a book bag? Or do you follow any famous people’s book blogs? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

I only recommend books I have read and know. Some of these links are my affiliate links. If you buy a book by clicking on one of these links I receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but does help cover the cost of producing my free newsletter.


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Featured image credit- Netflix – Inside Bills Brain, https://www.netflix.com/au/title/80184771
Body image credit- Reese’s Book Club on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ReesesBookClub/photos/a.1578061455545566/1731551740196536/

Comments (2)

  1. Helen Gentle

    My elderly English aunt, a great reader, found herself locked in her porch area without keys to either door. She was there from 4pm, all night, until 9am when the postie came. She had no food, water or toilet, but her biggest regret was nothing to read! She later hid a key in the area, and left a stack of books in case it ever happened again!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      A lovely story – yes, one can manage briefly without food and drink, but not without books! Thanks for sharing, Helen.

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