President Barack Obama his daughters Malia and Sasha visited and shopped at a local Washington, D.C., bookstore, Kramerbooks & Afterwards Café in Dupont Circle shortly before noon. The President was there in support of an initiative ssponsored by American Express, “Small Business Saturday.” President Obama bought books for himself and his daughters.
Pool reports said that the president greeted shoppers, including a young boy with his grandmother. “You doing some Christmas shopping? Not yet? Well, we’re starting early. This is ‘Small Business Saturday,’ so we’re out here supporting small business,” the president was heard saying.
Small Business Saturday is a campaign promoted by American Express to push shoppers during the holiday season to spend more at local businesses.
The White House released a list of the First Family’s purchases which included:
“The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz
“Tails” by Matthew Van Fleet
“The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster
“Diary of a Whimpy Kid: Cabin Fever” by Jeff Kinney
“Zen Shorts” by Jon Muth
“The Tiger’s Wife” by Tea Obreht
“Descent into Chaos” by Ahmed Rashid
“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selnick
It is not the first time President Obama has shopped an independent bookseller. The President has a long history with independent booksellers, including one of his favorite stores in his community of Hyde Park. That store is 57th Street Books, not far from the Obama home in Chicago. As a state senator and a United States Senator, he would spend hours browsing the stacks at 57th Street Books.
The President’s visit to Kramerbooks & Afterwards Café in Dupont Circle caused quite fuss. The President told a visitor he was supporting “Small Business Saturday.”
In a short exchange with one woman and her grandson, Obama explained that he and his daughters were doing their part to help the economy.
“This is Small Business Saturday, ” Obama said, according to pool reporter Peter Nicholas, of the Los Angeles Times. ” So we’re out here supporting small business.”
Obama and his daughters were greeted with applause by the stunned shoppers, but one patron seemed a bit annoyed that the president’s visit was distracting the Kramer’s staff.
“Does anyone actually work here?” the patron said.
It is not often the President of the United States stops by a local bookstore and actually buys books. And we know he reads them too. He doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk.
And he reads.
Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions, email@example.com. John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books