Michael Jackson, the bookworm

Michael Jackson, the bookworm

Owners of local bookstores, including Dutton’s, recall encountering the late pop star perusing their shelves.


In later years, Jackson would wear a surgical mask during his visits. In an X17 online video of him on New Year’s Eve 2008, in what appears to be Hennessey + Ingalls, he browses for books under a black umbrella, often held by an assistant.

“He loved the poetry section,” Dave Dutton said as Dirk chimed in that Ralph Waldo Emerson was Jackson’s favorite. “I think you would find a great deal of the transcendental, all-accepting philosophy in his lyrics.”

Largely an autodidact, Jackson was quite well read, according to Jackson’s longtime lawyer. “We talked about psychology, Freud and Jung, Hawthorne, sociology, black history and sociology dealing with race issues,” Bob Sanger told the LA Weekly after the singer’s death. “But he was very well read in the classics of psychology and history and literature . . . Freud and Jung — go down the street and try and find five people who can talk about Freud and Jung.”

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