Part of the reason we’re going to miss Barak Obama as President isn’t only because of what he’s achieved in office, but because the man, like us, is an avid reader, and now Obama has opened up about what books mean to him, and it’s full of literary wisdom.
We know that the President is a voracious reader, mainly due to his yearly summer reading lists, which this year featured the The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which was also selected for Oprah’s book club, too. Heck, he can even name the characters that have died in Game of Thrones.
Now Obama has spoken about the impact that books and literature has had on him, and it’s so powerful.
Given that Obama is also a prolific writer, too, what he said about wanting to write is so inspirational.
Speaking about how he re-discovered reading and writing in his second year at college, something he discusses in his book Dreams From My Father, Obama opened up about how he became “hermetic” and how he was always either reading or writing. However, he says, writing was an important part of shaping his identity.
Unfortunately, Obama said, he hasn’t managed to do as much writing as he would have liked during his tenure as President outside of speech writing due to being so darn busy. He did say, however, that he uses thrillers and science fiction to escape the world sometimes, and that Shakespeare was a “touchstone” for him during his presidency.
What’s more, Obama doesn’t worry about the future of the novel in the uncertain times of technological advancement.
We couldn’t agree more! You can read Obama’s full discussion about books, writing, and literature on The New York Times.