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Leaders are readers! – Top 20 influential book lovers


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    We’ve compiled a list of influential world leaders who have credited a significant portion of their successes to reading books.

    Be inspired to learn from others that have gone ahead of you, especially those you aspire to emulate. Why go through endless trials and errors when you can learn from successful individuals who have penned their journey in books?. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

    Make a decision to become a perpetual student to shorten the distance in regards to achieving your goals.

    Influential leaders on the importance of reading 

    1. Thomas Edison, American Inventor and Businessman (1847-1931) 


    “’When I want to discover something, I begin by reading up everything that has been done along that line in the past – that’s what all the books in the library are for. I see what has been accomplished at great labor and expense in the past. I gather the data of many thousands more. The three essentials to achieve anything worthwile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-it-iveness; third, common sense” – Thomas Edison

    2. Bill Gates (Businessman and philanthropist) 


    “I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.” – Bill Gates

    3. Martin Luther King, Jr., American Baptist and Civil Activist (1929-1968)  

    UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Martin Luther King Jr Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

    Images source – Getty Images

    “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


    4. Winston Churchill, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1874- 1965)


    Image source –

    “If you cannot read all your books…fondle them—peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them, at any rate, be your acquaintances.” – Winston Churchill

    5. Bill Clinton, Former President of the United States 


    “When I was a young man just out of law school and eager to get on with my life, on a whim I briefly put aside my reading preference for fiction and history and bought one of those how-to books: How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, by Alan Lakein. The book’s main point was the necessity of listing short-, medium-, and long-term life goals, then categorizing them in order of their importance, with the A group being the most important, the B group next, and the C the last, then listing under each goal specific activities designed to achieve them. I still have that paperback book, now almost thirty years old. And I’m sure I have that old list somewhere buried in my papers, though I can’t find it. However, I do remember the A list. I wanted to be a good man, have a good marriage and children, have good friends, make a successful political life, and write a great book.” – Bill Clinton

    6. Warren Buffett (Investor) 


    “I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.” – Warren Buffett


    7. Fidel Castro, Cuban politician and revolutionist  


    “I’m almost nostalgic for those years in prison, because that’s the time in my life when I had the most time to read. I read constantly, fifteen hours a day.” – Fidel Castro

    8. Nikola Tesla, American Inventor (1856-1943) 


    “Of all things, I liked books best.” – Nikola Tesla

    9. Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid revolutionist  


    “Our hope is that the elementary reading of comics will lead to the joy of reading good books.” – Nelson Mandela


    10. Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Essayist and poet (1803-1882)   


    Image source – Getty Images

    “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    11. Benjamin Franklin, One of the Founding Fathers of the United States (1705-1790)


    “From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books.” – Benjamin Franklin

    12. Frederick Douglas, Former slave, social reformer, abolitionist (1818-1895) 


    “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglas

    “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” – Frederick Douglas


    13. Mr Lee Kuan Yew, First President of Singapore (1923-2015)


    Image source – YouTube (SPH Razor) 

    “My definition of an educated man is a man who never stops learning and wants to learn. I am not interested in whether a man has a Ph.D or not, or an M.A. for that matter, or a diploma. Mao never had one, neither had Khrushchev, nor Stalin.” – Mr Lee Kuan Yew

    14. Li Ka-Shing, Hong Long business magnet and philanthropist


    “I bought secondhand books whenever I had spare money and absorbed them before trading them in for more books. Even today I read before going to bed every night.” – Li Ka Shing

    15. Strive Masiyiwa, International entrepreneur and philanthropist


    Image source – Forbes 

    “When I decided to return and work in Africa in the early 1980s, I sold all my few possessions — things like my stereo systems, my color tv (big thing in those days!), my prized music albums… everything I could sell. I then used all the cash to buy books, because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find some of my most important books. When one of my friends asked me why I was doing this, I said books were my most important possession, because with the knowledge they give me, I can make enough money to buy anything else!” – Strive Masiyiwa

    “Sitting down that afternoon, with a borrowed copy of the New International Version Bible, I sat down to read the bible for the very first time, in my life…….. I just read, and read, and read…Often, I would read the whole day, and the whole night… Finally I finished it after about three weeks.” – Strive Masiyiwa


    16. Rick Warren, Bestselling author and pastor


    “Analyze your reading habits to see what you’ve read and what you really need to read next.” – Rick Warren

    “Balance your reading. Read broadly. Include people you don’t agree with. This is how we are stretched.” – Rick Warren

    “Remember that the Bible is our number one priority in reading. You can get so caught up in reading other books that you don’t read the Bible. Make time for God’s Word before reading anything else. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. We need to spend more time reading it than anything else.” – Rick Warren

    17. President Barrack Obama, Current President of the United States 

    USA - Politics - Barack Obama at Harvard Law School

    Image source – Getty Images 

    “Reading is important. If you know how to read then the whole world opens up to you” – Barrack Obama

    “Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.” – Barrack Obama

    18. Ben Carson, American retired neurosurgeon


    “I started reading about people of great accomplishment… and it dawned on me suddenly that the person who has the most to do with what happens in your life is you.” – Ben Carson

    “Well, when I was a particularly bad student my mother turned off the TV and made us start reading books. One of the early books that I read was called Up from Slavery. It was the autobiography of Booker T. Washington. How he was born a slave and still learned to read. He read every book in sight and became an advisor to Presidents. So I started reading a lot of books about animals and science. I just got very interested in the whole concept of science and mathematics and technological things. In high school studies I started getting involved in science fairs and started working in the science laboratories. I just basically steered my life in that direction.” – Ben Carson

    “You have to actually exercise your mind in order to get it to be active and to get it to be creative and reading is a tremendous way to do that.” – Ben Carson

    19. Tony Robbins, Personal development coach 


    Source –

    “As a young man, I decided I was going to read a book a day. I didn’t quite read a book a day, but over seven years, I did read more than 700 books…” – Tony Robbins

    “”Years ago I got hooked on a habit that turned out to be one of the most valuable of my life: reading at least 30 minutes a day. Jim Rohn, one of my teachers, told me that reading something of substance, something of value, something that was nourishing, something that taught you distinctions, was more important than eating. ‘Miss a meal,’ he said, ‘but don’t miss your reading.’ Remember: leaders are readers.” – Tony Robbins

    20. Narenda Modi, Current Prime minister of India 


    “If there is education, there will be everything in life. Government can make roads, hospitals and also construct school buildings. But your homes can brighten up only if your children are educated. I am confident that if we focus on education, our society will certainly develop.” – Narendra Modi




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