What Are You Reading? Henry C. Kelley, Jr. (“Hank”)

I have been a real estate agent and investor for 42 years, and 39 of those have been in Little Rock.  I work for the Flake and Kelley Commercial real estate company as the CEO and co-owner. I love to cycle and do water sports like boating, fishing, wakeboarding, and golf.  In the winter, I enjoy duck hunting and hiking.  I also spend time traveling to visit my adult children and our nine grandchildren.

 What are you reading at the moment or what is next on your list?

The Education of Ernie Dumas: Chronicles of the Arkansas Political Mind (by local journalist Ernie Dumas) is what I am reading now. It’s a collection of untold stories from behind the scenes about the state’s leaders—Cherry, Faubus, Winthrop Rockefeller, Dale Bumpers, David Pryor, Bill Clinton, and others. I hope to read Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America next.

What book or other media do you keep coming back to again and again?

Our Towns by James and Debra Fallows, because I based the theme of my year as Rotary Club President on community development. Our Towns follows the efforts at grassroots economic development in towns and cities across America, and their differing levels of success.

What book or other media most contributed to your success today?

I read sections of the Wall Street Journal nearly every day, and when I need a lift or encouragement, I go back to Dale Carnegie’s book on How to Win Friends and Influence People.  I love both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and will occasionally reopen both of them and reread a section of each.

What children’s book do you wish every child could read?

Toothpaste Millionaire or Lemonade Wars.  Both of these books encourage young people to get involved in a business enterprise and treat people with respect.

What role has reading played in your life?

Reading has been an important part of my continuing education in the work that I do, and a way to escape the everyday stress of work with pleasure reading.  When I read for pleasure, I am able to listen to the author tell their story for a nice long time without having to quickly respond or reply.  We all need to learn to listen more and reading is one way to experience this form of a one-way conversation.

I like fiction when I have time to relax and enjoy the plot, but lately I have been spending more time reading nonfiction and particularly about Arkansas history through a series of books at the CALS Butler Center.  Arkansas Backstories volume 1 and 2 are fun reads to get some unusual Arkansas history without going too deep into a subject.