President Obama’s widely reported “vacation reading list” has provoked me to wonder why there is no position for Presidential Librarian. This office, not to be confused with management of a Presidential library, would advise the Chief Executive in selecting titles for personal reading, those most representative of social trends, economic theory, creative expression of evolving American values, and so forth.
Imagining myself (what a surprise!) in this role, I then envisioned the following conversation:
Me: “Mr. President, may I recommend this list of six books, all of which chronicle individual experiences in pursuit of the American dream?”
President Obama (efficiently check-marking items as he peruses the titles): “Hmmm. Already read it. That one, too. Yep. Ditto. Wrote that one….”
So, while admitting that the First Reader appears perfectly able to discern good literature unaided, I contend that someone still has to paw through all those advance reading copies sent in by publishers, draft encouraging replies to schoolchildren who want to know if the President enjoyed Harry Potter, and assist the White House staff in mobilizing the very best summer reading campaign ever.
Vote for me!