My Reading Life: with Jonathan Beatty
What are five books you loved? For one of them, why did you love it?
The Alchemist, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, The Four Agreements, Think and Grow Rich, and The Way of The Superior Man. The Alchemist is my favorite book. I love it because it is the story of our journey when we pursue our dreams!
What is a book you didn't like, and why?
I’ve never read a book I didn’t like because I find something valuable in everything I read.
What is a funny/interesting/unique anecdote about you as a reader?
I only consume physical and audio books. I know a lot of people who swear by e-books, but I just say no…
How did you first fall in love with books?
As a child, the Little Engine That Could captured my heart. The idea that if you keep working towards your goals, you can achieve anything, registered with me (and still does).
What book or books are you planning to read soon?
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie and the The Magic Ladder to Success by Napoleon Hill are next up. I have dozens of books in the queue!
What book do you always recommend?
The Four Agreements because the principles change your life when applied.
What book/books changed the way you see the world and your place in it?
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. It breaks down how there are universal laws of success, in the same way there are laws of physics (i.e. gravity). Once understood, anyone can use the laws to their advantage and change their life.
What was your favorite childhood book?
The Little Engine That Could!
Do you have any favorite literary journals?
No, I consume content based on what I am seeking to learn vs a specific journal. This is also true for authors, genres, etc.
Have you ever read anything that made you think differently about fiction/nonfiction?
I rarely read fiction, but Night Film by Marisha Pessl was a solid novel. It made me reconsider reading more fiction for leisure in the future.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
The Wizenard Series: Training Camp. I played sports growing up and would have loved this book. I believe the combination of sports and education is important on the mission to help all young people identify as readers.
What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
No one. I focus more on content vs. the writer. I read to learn 98% of the time, and I like whoever is helping me.
What book have you read that has most influenced your life?
The Alchemist. I read it at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey and it gave me a preview of what was to come, both good and bad. Most importantly, it let me know the treasure is only found by those who finish the journey.
Who are your favorite writers?
I do not have a favorite writer because I read for information. Who is best to provide that information depends on many factors. As such, my favorite writer is the one helping me at the time!
What do you read on holiday?
I read to learn on holiday, the same as any other time of the year.
Which author (living or dead) do you think is most underrated?
Kobe Bryant. I believe he was on his way to becoming a literary legend.
Which author (living or dead) do you think is most overrated?
I’ll reserve my opinion of who is overrated until I become an author.
What is your favorite book published in the past twelve months?
A Promised Land by former President Barack Obama. Classic.
Did your parents read to you when you were young?
Yes, although I don’t really recall the experiences. My 3 siblings and I probably read to/with each other as well.
Which book have you given most frequently as a gift to others?
The Wizenard Series: Training Camp (both as a friend and through I Love Books). The lessons from the book are valuable for young and old readers alike.
Which fictional character would you most like to have a drink with, and why?
King Melchizedek from The Alchemist. I’d like to know if he pursued his dream to become who he is and more instances when he had to “show up” to help a dreamer.
Where do you buy your books?
Local bookstores whenever possible. I am also an Amazon.com shareholder so I purchase from them as well.
Every read has a stack of favorites. What books would you grab if the house was on fire and you had to run out?
The Alchemist, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, The Four Agreements, Think and Grow Rich, and The Way of The Superior Man. These five books emphasize the importance inspiration, love, and life guidance.
What impact can a book have on the reader?
Books contain everything anyone needs to live an amazing life. There are a handful of books (most of them mentioned in this interview) that have literally change my world for the better and I hope everyone finds a way to become a reader so they can experience the same.
End of Interview
Jonathan Beatty is a Hazard, KY native and founder of I Love Books, an apparel brand on a mission to end illiteracy, #bookbybook. Before launching the brand in March 2021, Jonathan spent more than a decade as a finance manager for global companies such as Procter & Gamble, McKesson, and Amazon. His passion for giving books began years ago after an educator informed him most children in low-income households did not have access to books. He was inspired by this injustice and realized his life’s purpose is to ensure all young people have access to books and identify as readers. Jonathan created I Love Books to solve a global crisis and set an example for young people around the world.