Michael Jackson: Reading Made Him Famous

Hearing the recent news that the family of Michael Jackson has recently released a new track and is planning to release more unheard music this year, we thought it would be fitting to accompany this news with a conversation about what the great 34X platinum singer liked to read.

Michael Jackson

Though many people don’t automatically associate the King of Pop with being an “intellectual” man so much as a soulful one, he actually had quite an extensive collection of books. A frequenter of L.A. favorites like Book Soup and Skylight Books, Jackson reportedly cultivated a library of over 10,000 works.

In his home Neverland, he had a library full of 10,000 books on various subjects which he read constantly. This habit contributed to his great wealth of knowledge on various subjects. It is this vast knowledge that must have consciously or subconsciously contributed to and was manifested in his great musical work.

Part of his training that allowed him to gain knowledge, power, influence, and wealth, and to rise above everyone else in his life, involved reading.

He would visit bookstores and leave with hundreds of books at a go. Jackson would also constantly read books to his children.

“I love to read. I wish I could advise more people to read. There’s a whole new world in books. If you can’t afford to travel, you travel mentally through reading. You can see anything and go any place you want to in reading.” Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

The list below encompasses some of the Books Michael Jackson would call his favorites.

Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Jackson was said to have read this book several times. He also gave copies of it as presents to friends and associates to mentor and encourage them in their lives and endeavors. Kobe Bryant shared that Jackson gave him a copy of the book.

The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Green

This bestseller has sold 1.2 million copies worldwide and is popular among prominent personalities such as Hollywood stars and global world leaders.

A Michael Jackson annotated copy of the book was sold in an auction for $15000. (A normal copy of the book is $10)

If you enjoy this pop culture article, check out some of our other pop literature in The Ritual blog thread here.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

A simple and straightforward book. Michael Jackson would often read this book when things in his life seemed to be chaotic or when he needed to remember to slow the pace of his life down. A classic book for all lovers of literature, indeed.

Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving

A fan of the classics, he was an avid reader of Washington Irving and his mystical and fantastic tales.

The Power Of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

Jackson who was a huge believer in the power of the mind read and recommended this book to associates. Particularly to Frank Cascio who had disclosed that he was dyslexic and did not like to read. He shares that after Jackson recommended this book, he read it and changed his mind about reading.

The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill

Michael Jackson

This book was written after the author had interviewed the great revolutionaries of the time that included Henry Ford, J. P. Morgan, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas Edison.

“We can fly, you know. We just don’t know how to think the right thoughts and levitate ourselves off the ground” – Michael Jackson

The Bible

Bodyguard Bill Whitfield has shared on numerous occasions in interviews that during the final years of Jackson’s life in which he was at his service, Jackson could constantly be seen reading the Bible.

If you are enjoying this pop culture article, check out some of our other pop literature at The Ritual blog thread here.

The Autobiography of P. T Barnum

According to biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, in the early ’80s, Jackson gave copies of this book to both his lawyer and manager and told them, “Make this your Bible. I want my life to be the greatest show on earth.”

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

One of his childhood favorites, Michael Jackson was known to reference this book often.

Works by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Michael Jackson

Doug’s brother, Dave, remembers getting a call in the late ’80s – early ’90s from an MJ minion, who requested that the shop be closed early so Jackson could privately shop. “We did close early,” Dave said. Then, “about a quarter to nine he showed up in a big van. Once you got over the initial caution because of those burly guys with him, he was very nice. He loved the poetry section,” Dave’s son Dirk asserts that Ralph Waldo Emerson was Jackson’s favorite author.

This explains why we can find a great deal of the transcendental, all-accepting philosophy in his lyrics.

It turns out that Michael Jackson was a sort of Johnny Appleseed of reading, spreading books to all children. Former Los Angeles resident Cynde Moya remembers that “back when I worked at the Bookstar in Culver City, his people would have us keep the store open after hours, and he’d come in with a van load of kids, who could buy whatever books they wanted.”

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