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NYT: Transcript: President Obama on What Books Mean to Him →

This transcript of an interview between Michiko Kakutani, the chief book critic for The New York Times, and President Barack Obama in January of 2017 is a breath of fresh air from our current stifling state of affairs in 2019. Here, President Obama describes some the way he leans on books as a means of gaining perspective and centering himself under the bombardment of the work of being President.

I never much read growing up, always a bit too antsy to sit down for much longer than 5 minutes. In my post-collegiate days, however, I have made an effort to read a bit more. Reading was always simply work to me – always tied to the reading I was forced to do for school – and was never enlightening or enjoyable the way others seemed to find it. More recently, I have found that a day without at least a half hour of reading is not a complete day. The way the President describes his attachment to books resonates so much with me because I have begun to felt an inkling of what he describes, and I desire for it to grow.

As I improve my ability to stem the flow of information coming in my direction (removing social media largely from my life has been a big boon here), I find myself more able & interested in absorbing the stories books have to tell. This interview was a nice reminder that this feeling of connection to a story can grow deeper and even more fulfilling over time.