Frequent Questions

What is Leaving Microsoft to Change the World?

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World is a memoir written by Room to Read's Founder and Executive Chairman, John Wood, in which he vividly recounts the decision to quit his executive career at Microsoft to dedicate his life to fighting illiteracy worldwide. John describes the struggles and successes that have shaped Room to Read to this day, detailing the founding and infancy of Room to Read, highlighting key characters and defining events, and laying out the lessons - from the business world and his personal experiences - around which John has sought to build Room to Read into one of the world's leading educational organizations.

How does the book relate to Room to Read?

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World chronicles the story of Room to Read's beginnings. It aims to tell our story and share our tremendous passion with a wider audience. In John's own words, "this is a book about books, or perhaps I should say it's a book about book lovers who want to share their joy of books with children across the developing world." We hope that those reading the book will be inspired by John's story and will join us in our mission to provide the lifelong gift of literacy to children everywhere.

Who is the publisher?

The publisher is Harper Collins. They are located in New York, NY. Their website is

In which countries is the book available?

Harper Collins has published the book in the United States and Canada. There is also an International English Version available in Great Britain, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, South Africa, and other international markets. Language rights have also been sold for Albanian, Chinese (Complex), Chinese (Simplified), Dutch, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Other), Russian, Sinhalese, Tamil, Turkish, and Thai versions of the book.

What is the publication date?

The hardback edition was first on the shelves in the United States August 29, 2006 and in Canada on September 2, 2006. The paperback edition became available on September 4, 2007. The book is now in its 14th printing.

Where can I buy the book?

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World is available in bookstores worldwide. You can also purchase the book from countless online retailers. Visit the Buy the Book page on this website for some quick links.

Can I get a sneak peek?

Sure! Feel free to download Chapter 1 of the book (PDF, 118kB).

Do profits from the book benefit Room to Read?

John will be donating some of the book's proceeds to Room to Read to help fund its continued growth.

I read the book... now what do I do?

Get involved! You can share the book or give it as a gift to friends, family, and coworkers. Write about the book on your website, blog, or office bulletin board, host a book signing, host a fundraiser, donate money to Room to Read, become a volunteer, get creative! Click here for more ideas. We'd love to hear how you are sharing the book and Room to Read's message. Email us at

John's story has been an inspiration to us all. If you felt inspired by the book, remember John's message - everyday people can help change the world!

Where can I find out more information about Room to Read?

More information about Room to Read is available online at You can also email us at

Invite John to speak at one of your events!

Razor-sharp business acumen honed at Microsoft, combined with a passion to change the world makes John Wood a unique, inspiring and popular speaker with universal appeal. His charismatic presentations focus on leadership, entrepreneurship, business, education and literacy, philanthropy and women's empowerment, as well as motivational messages about finding your passion in life, thinking big, and proving that anyone, with focused vision and determination, can make a significant impact on the world.

Click here for John's speaker biography.

To arrange a speaking engagement with John, please contact Erin Hogan at Room to Read: or +1 (415) 839-4400.