Room to Read

03 Sep

Two of my favorite books are by John Wood- Leaving Microsoft to Change the World and Creating Room to Read.


The first, published in 2006, tells his story of how he left his high-paying job to start providing educational opportunities in developing countries. What I liked about this more than Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson was I got a more behind-the-scenes look of starting a non-profit- in his case, Room to Read. Some concepts from Leaving Microsoft to Change the World that stuck with me were:

-Help people help themselves (instead of doing everything for them and solving their problems.)

-Invest in yourself.


The second, published in 2013, continues his journey to promote global literacy. While reading the book, there were some quotes that resonated with me, and I want to share them. All are attributed to John Wood unless otherwise indicated.

-I am one small part of a very large crowd, one small light in a bright and populated constellation.

-“No matter what you are reading, it should not matter. Don’t let anyone tell you what to read or what not to read. The important thing is to simply be in the habit.” (His Grandmother)

-You never know how many talented people are out there until you invite and inspire them to be creative.

-“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” (Nelson Mandela)

-Sometimes if you state your intentions and goals to enough people, eventually enough seeds will be planted so that some bear fruit.

-“Figure out what you want to say at your deathbed, Then work backwards from there.” (Jeff Balin)

If you love books and are a strong advocate for literacy (As I suspect you are) and/or part of the non-profit world, these books are must-reads.


One response to “Room to Read

  1. John Wood (@johnwoodRTR)

    September 3, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Thanks Earl — I am flattered, and very happy you enjoyed both books! –John Wood, from London


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