Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rambles: My New Reading Hero, and the Idea He Gave Me

I saw a random pin on Pinterest about Theodore Roosevelt. This pin claimed he read a book a day, at least, even when President. I thought, surely, this is one of those internet falsehood. But, curiosity drove me and I sought the truth.

Turns out, he did. President Roosevelt was a voracious reader. According to the Theodore Roosevelt Center, TR was a "voracious reader, reading on average a book a day even while President. He usually read several books at a time, rotating between them depending on his activities and/or his mood. Roosevelt read widely in genres ranging from classic and contemporary fiction & poetry to ancient philosophy, military histories and natural history studies. He read in many different languages, including German, French, Italian and Latin."

This man is my new reading hero.

On this website, there is a link to the inventory of TR's books. As I was reading this, I began to ponder.

If I can download the complete works of a single author, I should be able to download the contents of a single person's library. For example, if I wish to read what TR read, I would simply download his library - an electronic copy of every book he owned. Or, for example, I might download Thomas Jefferson's or Tupac Shakur's or Emily Dickinson's. How thrilling to read the written works that influenced, inspired or sharped someone you admire?

I expect, of course, this will be available shortly. Between Amazon, B&N, the Library Systems in America and the Gutenberg Project, most books will soon be available electronically. It's only a matter of grouping them according to library.

I wonder if I could get a job doing that?

I doubt it, but what I don't doubt is that if TR can read that many books while being President, than I can manage to read 100 books in a year. That's 2 a week. I can manage that.


  1. That really is quite a good idea. I'd love to see the complete list of TR's books. Not to mention Jefferson's. Not to mention John & Abigail Adams's.

    Which reminds me, when we were in CW, I bought a little pamphlet that contained a list of books that Jefferson thought essential. I'm sure it's going to influence my reading future. :)

    Anyway, good luck! Sounds like a lot of fun! :D

    1. Also, this is Josh. I've no idea why my name's not showing up there. :)

    2. Hahaha, I knew who you were, silly!