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President Obama on the Value of Reading

The President remarked on the “incredible variety of voices” in contemporary American literature, and the importance of seeking out diverse books — instead of only “reading stuff that reinforces [one’s] existing point of view.”   

When I think about how I understand my role as citizen, setting aside being president, and the most important set of understandings that I bring to that position of citizen, the most important stuff I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels. It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of grays, but there’s still truth there to be found, and that you have to strive for that and work for that. And the notion that it’s possible to connect with some[one] else even though they’re very different from you. (The New York Review of Books)

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