Since the 2012 playoffs, three-time NBA All-Star Lebron James has made a tradition of reading books to help relieve stress and tune out the noise before a big game. In an Oprah Winfrey interview, he talked about books as a welcome escape:

“I was reading to not only do something different, but to also take my mind off the game. Because during the postseason, everything is about the games. Everything is about the matchup and the team that you’re playing and the city that you’re in. I needed some moments where I could just get a different perspective — escape.”

Compiled by USA Today, find a reading list of books Lebron James has picked up during NBA playoffs below. Complement with Kobe Bryant’s favorite reads.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (also rec’d by Malala Yousafzai & Neil Patrick Harris)

“As complex as that book is and as deep as that book is – it is so, so deep – I was able to figure out a way to translate it to my life at that point in time where I was like, oh I can remember when I was the 11-year-old kid and I was telling myself ‘Why me?’ some days and I was always telling myself, ‘OK, let’s change the narrative of why me, why us, why are we put in this position? Let’s change the narrative.’” -KB

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Decoded by Jay-Z (READ: 6 Books Jay-Z Lives By)

West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life by Jerry West and Jonathan Coleman

The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt and Lisa Frazier Page

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (READ: 21 Books Recommended By Malcolm Gladwell)

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

(via USA Today)

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