Bush Reads Very Fast
Hat tip to Crooks And Liars.
A Humbled Presidency
After a series of setbacks, Bush tries a more thoughtful approach
By Kenneth T. Walsh
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006
Maybe it was the influence of his wife, Laura, a former librarian, or his mother, Barbara, a longtime promoter of literacy. Or perhaps he was just eager to dispel his image as an intellectual lightweight. But President Bush now wants it known that he is a man of letters. In fact, Bush has entered a book-reading competition with Karl Rove, his political adviser. White House aides say the president has read 60 books so far this year (while the brainy Rove, to Bush's competitive delight, has racked up only 50). The commander in chief delved into three volumes in August alone-two on Abraham Lincoln and, more surprising for a man of unambiguous convictions, The Stranger, Albert Camus's existential tale of murder and alienation (story, Page 38).
Bush's critics aren't buying. A man who so regularly mangles the English language and seems to disdain complexity couldn't possibly be so cerebral, they argue. But portraying Bush as a voracious reader is part of an ongoing White House campaign to restore what a senior adviser calls "gravitas" to the Bush persona. He certainly needs something. Only about 34 percent of Americans approve of his job performance-and 58 percent say Bush "seems in over his head," according to Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg. If nothing changes, the president could be a major liability for Republicans in November's congressional elections.
Here's a partial list of books he's read so far.
I figure that's about one book every four days. Supposedly he's working for a living. So if he reads two hours an evening, and eight hours on Saturday and eight hours on Sunday, he's reading a book in about four hours.
Or maybe he's not working and he reads full time? I could read at that rate, but I probably wouldn't get much value out of it. The last book I read was Richard Heinberg's, "Running on Empty". I read it in about two weeks, while riding on the train. Had it been a sci-fi it would've lasted just a few days, but I skipped back now and then in case I missed something. I know out of Bush's reading list I'd be going about that slow, just because the content would be important to me. Some of those books interest me.
I believe he could've gone at that rate if he looked at each page, but not if he read them. This story is designed to paint him as some sort of supercomputer genius. I don't buy it.
I think this is a reading list suggested by citizens, and republished as Bush's reading list. Bush probably never even touched many of these books, if any.
Update: On another forum someone pointed out that these selections are in two book of the month clubs that the commentator subscribes to. So it's probably just a list taken from their offerings.