Patriots Wide Receiver Malcolm Mitchell Shares His Love Of Reading And Books

"Somebody called me a nerd ... It's like a badge of honor to me."

New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell is going to the Super Bowl this year, but it's not his career in football that he's most proud of.

In a heartwarming piece by CBS Evening News' Steve Hartman, the 23-year-old former Georgia Bulldog talks openly about how his early struggles with reading made him a lover of books. 

When Mitchell arrived at the University of Georgia, he could only read at a middle school level. In an interview with Yahoo, he said that until college, reading had never been part of his life. "I guess I was just always outside," he told Yahoo. "Sports dominated the culture I was in. Education was something you had to do to play a sport, as dumb as that sounds."

That's when he took it upon himself to bring his academics up to the level of his athletics. He started reading as much as he could.

Then one day Mitchell met Kathy Rackley, a grandmother of eight, while perusing the stacks at a local Barnes & Noble. He asked her for a book recommendation. Rackley mentioned the book she was reading for her women's book club.

"When she said that, I kind of just lit up," Mitchell told Yahoo. "I knew nothing about book clubs. The most I knew was Oprah's Book Club. But I was looking for an opportunity to expand and grow."

Mitchell joined Rackley's book club as the only man. "It's fine, it's fun," he said of the club. "It's just casual conversation. Sometimes we talk about books and they need a male perspective. So they'll single me out."

Now he's taken his love of reading to children. He recently authored a children's book, The Magician's Hat, and started The Share the Magic Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports literacy and promotes reading in Title 1 schools and low-income communities.

Take a look at Steve Hartman's coverage of his story below.



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