“Still, Mr. Trump, who does not read books, is able to end his evenings with plenty of television.” —The New York Times, January 25, 2017
The President of the United States does not read books. This should terrify you.
Books are how we first explore our world. Even the children of jet-setters and globetrotters probably read Clifford the Big Red Dog or Spot the Dog. Whether you were an overachiever in childhood who enjoyed heavy tomes or a kid who liked Goosebumps, every time you picked up a book—or someone read a book to you—you were broadening your horizons. You got to know talking dogs and turtles and become better acquainted with magic, yes. But you also traveled to distant lands and learned about jobs you didn’t yet know existed. You learned how to make friends and what kind of fun you could have out in the world. You learned to be careful and you learned not to hate people based on their appearance.
Even in the era of Netflix, books are our escape. Reading a few pages can knock you out at night—or keep you up until dawn. Books bring us closer to people and places we may have never been able to otherwise get to know and acquaint us with histories and cultures and stories we might wish to learn more about.
Tomorrow, thanks to the good people who started the Facebook even Bury the White House in Books on Valentine’s Day, the plan is to send a book to the President, care of the White House, with a note inside explaining why you think he needs to read it. The moment I saw the event, I knew I had to take part. I also knew exactly which book I wanted to send: The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. After a little thinking, I decided I would also send Sarah Glidden’s Rolling Blackouts. I highly recommend both. And tomorrow, I’ll be posting the letters I’ll be sending with a copy of each to the White House. Even if Mr. Trump won’t read them, I hope someone cares to give them a try.
At best, he’ll tweet about us. At worst, he’ll burn them all on the White House lawn. I’m hoping someone in the communications departments has a good PR sense and donates the books to a D.C. school or an organization that promotes literacy. But if my books are returned, I’ll be donating them to my local library.
It isn’t too late—go to your favorite book store, buy your favorite book (or what you think is the most important book you’ve ever read), and send it to the White House. Show Mr. Trump what he’s missing out on.
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
Will you be sending a book? Do you plan to donate books to any charities, organizations, libraries, or schools that need them? Share your ideas below!