Creating Room to Read

Creating Room to Read

A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780670025985
  • 320  Pages
  • Viking Books
  • Adult


The inspirational story of a former Microsoft executive’s quest to build libraries around the world and share the love of books

What’s happened since John Wood left Microsoft to change the world? Just ask six million kids in the poorest regions of Asia and Africa. In 1999, at the age of thirty-five, Wood quit a lucrative career to found the nonprofit Room to Read. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “the Andrew Carnegie of the developing world,” he strived to bring the lessons of the corporate world to the nonprofit sector—and succeeded spectacularly.

In his acclaimed first book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, Wood explained his vision and the story of his start-up. Now, he tackles the organization’s next steps and its latest challenges—from managing expansion to raising money in a collapsing economy to publishing books for children who literally have no books in their native language. At its heart, Creating Room to Read shares moving stories of the people Room to Read works to help: impoverished children whose schools and villages have been swept away by war or natural disaster and girls whose educations would otherwise be ignored.

People at the highest levels of finance, government, and philanthropy will embrace the opportunity to learn Wood’s inspiring business model and blueprint for doing good. And general readers will love Creating Room to Read for its spellbinding story of one man’s mission to put books within every child’s reach.


Praise for John Wood and Leaving Microsoft to Change the World

"The bottom line is passion, and it seems the world is better off for John Wood having followed his."
– USA Today

"A rare business book that not only provides savvy insights for better business practices but transcends the category altogether, to rank as an infectiously inspiring read…Marked by sincerity and savvy, this is the kind of book that buisiness colleagues will discuss with their acquaintances, spouses and friends."
– Publishers Weekly

"Just think what would happen if a couple of hundred people followed his example."
– Bill Clinton

"Wood is obsessed with putting to work the business practices he learned at Microsoft…melding ‘the compassion of mother Teresa’ with the ‘focus and tenacity of a clue chip company.’"
– Financial Times

"I haven’t cried so much reading a book in a long time. It’s very emotional to read about both Wood’s own struggles and the stories he tells of his travels. His outlook is wonderfully optimistic."
– Tom Peters, coauthor of In Search of Excellence

"John’s story is a spellbinding tale of his transformation from Microsoft velociraptor to a new life bringing the amazing gift of literacy to millions of kids around the world."
– Marc Andreessen, cofounder Netscape Communications

"If work is the rent you pay for the space you occupy on earth, then Wood’s journey into the world of nonproficts is testimony to that old adage. Always inspirational, this book is guaranteed to prompt many readers to open their hearts."
– Booklist

"As much about business practices as about personal discovery, this book lives up to its name as it details how the author traded in the executive lifestyle to champion his own nonprofit organization, Room To Read."
– School Library Journal