Howard Stern fell in love with reading books. And all this thanks to his Kindle

BACK: I wasn’t a big book reader, but what happened to me was that when the Kindle was invented, I started loving reading. I can take it with me, and I think it has to do with the font size.

BOOKS: What did you start reading?

BACK: I started thinking about all the books I had never read in school because honestly I hadn’t had the best education. I bought Howard Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States”. It’s something I should have read in college because while I was at Boston University he was a professor there. Then I decided I wanted to learn more about WWII. There’s a book called “With the Old Breed” by EB Sledge, who was a Marine. I didn’t understand the full impact of what those guys did in Okinawa fighting the Japanese. It had a big impact on me.

BOOKS: What else have you read lately?

BACK: I recently purchased Danny Zucker’s book, “He Started It!: My Twitter War With Trump”. It literally takes you 15 minutes to read. These are his tweets with Trump. Danny is a very funny guy.

BOOKS: What other kind of books do you read?

BACK: Lots of self help books. A few years ago, I got into David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” One of the things I learned in psychotherapy was that I was kind of infantilized. I let a lot of people take care of me. I decided I wanted the right calendar and the right to-do list. His book was a game changer. I read it maybe 20 times.

BOOKS: What other books have changed the game for you?

BACK: “The Divided Mind” by Dr. John Sarno saved my life. There was a time when I couldn’t get on a radio show without lying on my back. I had so much pain in my shoulders and back. I was about to have surgery, then I heard about him. I carry this book and its previous “Healing Back Pain” with me.

BOOKS: How would you describe your tastes as a reader?

BACK: I love any type of true story. I loved Bruce Springsteen’s memoir. I also read “Unbelievable” by Katy Tur. I enjoyed that and loved Al Franken’s “Senate Giant”.

BOOKS: What other kind of books do you read?

BACK: I read a lot of chess books. Dan Heisman writes these interesting books about amateur games and player mistakes. I find his analysis fascinating. I bought an awful lot of hardcover art books because I started painting four years ago. I treasure these books. Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos bought me [the exhibit catalogue] “Andrew Wyeth: Looking Back.”

BOOKS: How would you describe yourself as a reader so far?

BACK: Curious. The problem is, there’s so much I want to learn that it can paralyze me. I had such a poor understanding of what reading books was like when I was young. Now I play catch-up. I have so many regrets, especially when it comes to books.

BOOKS: Wasn’t reading a big deal in your household growing up?

BACK: Never. People tell me that when they were children, a parent read to them. I really say, “Is it true?” I never experienced that, and I never understood the joy of reading, which is weird because around second grade, I tested high in reading comprehension, and they put me in a class accelerated. But no one ever told me you could get anything out of books or that I was too stupid to understand.

BOOKS: Has becoming a book reader changed you?

BACK: Yes, I had the impression that the world had just awakened in me. I fell in love with reading.

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Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @GlobeBiblio. Amy Sutherland is the most recent author of “Rescuing Penny Jane” and can be contacted at

About Marcia G. Hussain

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