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.
Susannah Fullerton: Cakes and Ale
Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates Netflix
Ah King, Collected Short Stories by W. Somerset Maughamn – includes The Book Bag
World Of Somerset Maugham Series 3 by W. Somerset Maughamn – includes The Book Bag audio version
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