Has the reading of a single book ever changed your life? Has it changed your life AND the lives of your neighbors?

I have been reviewing material this morning posted by Urban Intellectuals about William Kamkwamba of Malawi. When William was 14 he had to drop out of school in his native country because his family could not afford the fees. But he was still allowed to check books out of the school library. One day he borrowed a book called “Using Energy,” and learned how to make energy and how to use it. Following the general information in the book, he took a broken bicycle, a tractor fan blade, an old shock absorber and some wood from blue gum trees and made a wind generator. With the generator he could create enough power to light up four bulbs and to let his neighbors charge their cell phones.

A little later he built two more sophisticated wind chargers.

And now he’s been on TED Talks to tell his story.

It’s an amazing tale of acquiring knowledge to make things better. All because he read a book.