“John Adams’s library had more than 3,000 volumes — including Cicero, Plutarch and Thucydides — heavily inscribed with the president’s marginalia. Thomas Jefferson’s massive book collection launched him into debt and later became the backbone for the Library of Congress. ‘I cannot live without books,’ he confessed to Adams.”
“Consider Harry Truman. He was the last American president not to have completed college, but he was a voracious reader and particularly interested in history and biography, once musing that ‘the only thing new in this world is the history that you don’t know.”
The Hudson Institute’s Tevi Troy ponders presidential reading in For Obama and Past Presidents, the Books They Read Shape Policies and Perceptions in the Washington Post.