Gov. Mike Easley overcame a reading disability to become an avid consumer of books, usually reading several at once.
A recent choice, centuries old, was “The Book of My Life,” an autobiography by Girolamo Cardano, a friend of Leonardo da Vinci, best-known for his contributions to modern algebra. The controversial Italian Renaissance star was a prolific author, math professor, astrologer and physician.
Easley found the eccentric genius fascinating but also sought an understanding of Cardano's motivation to explore science. He also recently reread “As the Future Catches You,” by the Harvard Business School's Juan Enriquez, on the impact of technology and forces shaping society and the economy.
For Easley, the books provided insights as he presses to create higher-paying, more secure jobs in high-tech fields.
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Easley also loans books to prison inmates who work at the governor's mansion. He talks with them about the books and has them autograph what they've read, forming a journal of who has been there.
Most days, he wakes about 2 a.m., his private time for reading, thinking and problem-solving. He'll stay up about three hours, then nap before starting the day. He also uses those wee hours to check the latest news online, anticipating reporters will question him at every opportunity.
He watches TV news in the evening while on the treadmill. He reads the Sunday New York Times, The News & Observer when he's in Raleigh and the Wilmington Star News when he's at his place in Southport.
No iPod for the governor.
“There's no place I could put on the earphones and get away with it,” he said. “I'm always in public.”
As to advice, he favors: You can't go wrong by doing right. Stella M. Hopkins