The Bookshelves of 18 Extraordinary People (Infographic)

Posted 01 Aug 2017, by

Brendan Brown

What do Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, The Duchess of Cambridge and Noam Chomsky all have in common? Apart from being extraordinarily successful, they love to read.

While research studies have long confirmed that reading is an important neurological activity that can strengthen the brain and improve wellbeing, the reading lists of 18 amazing people demonstrate this fact in real life.

And we aren’t talking thick, super-intense non-fiction (though Noam Chomsky has some pretty heavy titles in his must reads); novels also play an important role.

Reading fiction is known to improve a reader’s ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes and trigger the imagination in a way that is similar to the visualisation of a muscle memory in sports. And the 18 incredibly successful people we’ve profiled below innately know this as novels are common to nearly all their book shelves.

Barak Obama reads Moby Dick with as much vigour as titles by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Bill Gates (who reads a book every week) values The Catcher in the Rye alongside The Man Who Fed the World. Even the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, likes dog-earred copies of the Harry Potter series as much as Now, Discover Your Strengths and Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values.

Unlike the 42% of US college graduates who will never read a book again after graduating college or the 80% of the population who didn’t buy a book in the last year, our 18 super-success heroes opt for reading over other past times, believing that books are a gateway to learning, knowledge and personal power.


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