How Reading Helped Michael Jackson Become a Music Legend

Michael Jackson: Reading Made Him Famous

A Look Into Michael Jackson’s Early Life and the Power of Reading

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, is an icon whose influence transcends generations. His music and dance moves have inspired millions around the world. But what many people don’t know is that Michael Jackson was also a passionate reader and advocate for literacy and education. In this article, we will take a look into Michael Jackson’s early life and explore how reading played a pivotal role in his success.

Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in the small city of Gary, Indiana. His father Joe Jackson worked as a steel mill foreman and his mother Katherine was a homemaker who stayed at home to raise Michael and his three older brothers. Michael idolized his oldest brother who had just received an acceptance letter from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Joe made it financially possible for Michael to attend UCLA by taking out loans from local banks.

In high school, Michael sang in a band called The Falcons. He put himself through college with scholarships for football and music which he supplemented by working a series of odd jobs. He was recruited to play football at both UCLA and the University of Oregon but chose not to pursue his dream in order to take care of his family.

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.

“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

Michael Jackson’s Favourite Books & What We Can Learn From Them

Michael Jackson

Reading habits of celebrities can provide us with valuable insights into their personal lives and interests. Michael Jackson was a popular singer and songwriter who had an impressive collection of books. He was known to be an avid reader and his favorite books were a reflection of his passion for knowledge. In this article, we will explore some of Michael Jackson’s favorite books and the lessons we can learn from them.

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.

This is the story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules…people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves…people who know there’s more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than they ever dreamed.

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)

In the book that People magazine proclaimed “beguiling” and “fascinating,” Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.

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

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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.

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal — a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

Here Hemingway recasts, in a strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

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

Michael Jackson
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 Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., by Washington Irving, is a classic collection of short stories and essays by the beloved American author. Featuring the stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, this classic collection of stories and essays explores themes of change, tradition, and American culture. Remarkably prescient and thoughtful, the work of Washington Irving remains as relevant today as it was upon its publication in the early 19th century. Fans of American literature and newcomers alike will find much to enjoy in this timeless classic.

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.

In this phenomenal bestseller, “written with the sole objective of helping the reader achieve a happy, satisfying, and worthwhile life,” Dr. Peale demonstrates the power of faith in action. With the practical techniques outlined in this book, you can energize your life—and give yourself the initiative needed to carry out your ambitions and hopes.

The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill

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.

The Law of Success is the golden key to Hill’s thought–his complete and unabridged mind-power method for achieving your goals. After interviewing dozens of industrialists, diplomats thought leaders, and successful people from all walks of life, the young Hill distilled what he learned into these fifteen core lessons, organized with an introductory chapter, ‘The Master Mind,’ that serves as a primer to Hill’s overall philosophy.

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 in 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.”

P. T. Barnum’s career of showmanship and charlatanry was marked by a surprising undercurrent of honesty and forthrightness. His exuberant autobiography forms a happy combination of all those traits, revealing the whole story of his world-famous hoaxes and publicity stunts. Here is a pageant of nineteenth-century America’s gullibility and thirst for marvels, as told by the master of revels himself.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

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

Peter Pan is a fictional character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie. A free-spirited and mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood having adventures on the mythical island of Neverland as the leader of the Lost Boys, interacting with fairies, pirates, mermaids, Native Americans, and occasionally ordinary children from the world outside Neverland.  

Peter, Wendy, Captain Hook, the lost boys, and Tinker Bell have filled the hearts of children ever since Barrie’s play first opened in London in 1904 and became an immediate sensation. Now, this funny, haunting modern myth is presented with Bedford’s wonderful illustrations, which first appeared in the author’s own day, have long been out of print, and have never been equaled.

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.”

A Salute to the King of Pop and His Love for Learning Through Literature

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, was an inspiration to many. He was a pioneer in the music industry and had an undeniable talent for creating timeless masterpieces. But what many people don’t know is that he also had a passion for learning through literature. He was always looking for ways to expand his knowledge and creativity, which he achieved through reading books and studying different topics. In this article, we salute the King of Pop and his love for learning through literature.

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Published by Willy Martinez

Willy Martinez is a creative writer, Integrated Marketing Specialist, and Boxing coach. Since being honorably discharged from the Marines in 2004, he has pursued his passion for telling stories, whether they be through film, graphic design, and writing for digital art.

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