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"Proud non-reader" Kanye West turns author

 Entertainer Kanye West (L) and co-author of the book
Entertainer Kanye West (L) and co-author of the book 'Thank You and You're Welcome,' Sakiya Sandifer, pose for a portrait while promoting the book in New York May 22, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
— image credit: Reuters

By Mark Egan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rapper Kanye West does not read books or respect them but nevertheless he has written one that he would like you to buy and read.

The Grammy Award winner, known for his No. 1 albums and outspoken statements on everything from racism in America to the banality of Twitter, is the co-author of "Thank You And You're Welcome."

His book is 52 pages -- some blank, others with just a few words -- and offers his optimistic philosophy on life. One two-page section reads, "Life is 5% what happens and 95% how you react!" Another page reads "I hate the word hate!"

"This is a collection of thoughts and theories," West, 31, said in an interview about his spiral-bound volume, which was written with J. Sakiya Sandifer.

West said he put his thoughts in a book because "I get paraphrased and misquoted all the time." He calls his wisdom "Kanye-isms."

"My favorite one is 'Get used to being used,'" he said.

"I feel like to misuse, overuse or abuse someone is negative. To use is necessary and if you can't be used, then you are useless."

So does he fancy himself a modern-day Confucius?

"I'm trying to end the confusion," he said, laughing and adding, "I'm gonna put that on the next album."

West's derision of books comes despite the fact that his late mother, Donda West, was a university English professor before she retired to manage his music career. She died in 2007 of complications following cosmetic surgery.

"Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed," West said. "I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph.

"I am a proud non-reader of books. I like to get information from doing stuff like actually talking to people and living real life," he said.

West, a college dropout, said being a non-reader was helpful when he wrote his book because it gave him "a childlike purity."

West dedicates the book to his late mother.

"My mom taught me to believe in my flyness and conquer my shyness," he said, defining "flyness" as confidence. "She raised me to be the voice to allow people to think for themselves, to find their own way."

(Editing by Michelle Nichols and Bill Trott)

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