June 18, 2012

LeBron James: A new champion of reading


In case you, like me, missed this news: there’s a new champion for reading in the shape of basketball star LeBron James. USA Today reported that he’s been devouring books since the playoffs began. He’s been seen reading The Hunger Games trilogy, which he’s apparently now finished. He’s also had his nose in copies of retired basketball star Jerry West‘s autobiography West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life; The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream; and The Tipping Point. And he’s currently reading Jay-Z‘s memoir Decoded.

He says he’s been making time to read by watching less TV and using Twitter less, and that his new literary habit is excellent mental preparation for the game:

For me, it’s relaxing honestly. You spend so much preparation for the games, sometimes you just need to get away from it for a little bit. The reading has helped me get away from the game a little bit, and I’m able zero in once I’m done and get ready for the games.

And Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is encouraging James’s teammates to find similar hobbies, which help to give them an escape from what he calls ‘outside noise’.

Sound advice. It’s also great to see reading being praised outside of the usual publishing and educational channels, which have a tendency to preach to the converted on this.

Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.