Reading: A Secret to Success or Sanity ... or Both?
A few months ago, I posted something about President Obama’s impressive, yet highly suspect summer reading list. In my piece I implied that it was hard to believe that someone so important and obviously busy would have time for leisurely reading. Whether he actually did the reading and created a recommendation list, or pawned it off to a staffer, I reasoned that the act of promoting reading in itself, was important and only added to his cool nerd factor. Since then and very recently, he has released yet another reading list and granted a sit-down interview with the New York Times regarding the invaluable role books have played during his presidency. Because of this, I have checked my skepticism at the door and embrace and applaud the fact that some people can be President of the United States and keep up with reading more than Homeland Security briefings.
Between dealing with Congress on one hand, terrorism on the other and mounds of meetings and appearances in between, clearly the presidency is a highly demanding and stressful position. In the midst of the daily grind and throughout his tenure, Obama explains in the article that books have been a source of inspiration and comfort. A few of his favorites are writings from Abraham Lincoln, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela. For obvious reasons, these are leaders he idolizes and whose challenges he can sympathize with, but judging from his latest list, it’s not just the oldies but goodies that get him through. He is seemingly an avid reader of contemporary books, both fiction and non-fiction. And although he admits that reading may not necessarily make him a better person, it does give him the ability to “slow down and get perspective on things.” Maybe that’s something we all can ponder, myself included, as we maybe procrastinate on reading or choose yet another streaming binge over a good book. Whether it's a secret to success or sanity or both, consider reading.
Check out the NY Times article at