Bush Reads Too Much

Poor George Bush can’t seem to catch a break with the New York Times. The Times ran a positive article today on Barack Obama’s reading habits and decided to include a negative paragraph on George Bush for contrast. The problem is that Bush is a voracious reader who apparently reads more than Obama. So how do you turn this into a criticism of the President? Bush reads too much! He races through his books while Obama reads more thoughtfully.

Mr. Obama tends to take a magpie approach to reading — ruminating upon writers’ ideas and picking and choosing those that flesh out his vision of the world or open promising new avenues of inquiry. His predecessor, George W. Bush, in contrast, tended to race through books in competitions with Karl Rove (who recently boasted that he beat the president by reading 110 books to Mr. Bush’s 95 in 2006), or passionately embrace an author’s thesis as an idée fixe.

I am glad that George Bush and Barack Obama are both readers. I am sorry the Times chose to criticize Bush for his reading, especially on this his last day of office. Why not lift them both up as great examples for continued learning through reading?


  1. Barrie says:

    Ray, I agree with you about the criticism of Bush because they feel he reads too much. On his last day in office they should at least acknowledge that reading was very important to both men. Criticism is non stop on whoever is President. We all need to remember to pray for whoever is in office. Obama is taking on a huge responsibility and will need our prayers and considerations.

  2. Laurel P. says:

    Ray, I heard the comments that reading would be brought, as if something new, into the White House, with Obama. I thought, “Don’t they realize that Laura Bush was a librarian and that Barbara Bush’s main focus was literacy?” In any case, our family all remain big readers and library users, something I remember commenting on to Bethany her family is similar. Also enjoyed listening to your Larry N. tribute song. I remember going to his concerts as a teenager in Calif. and of course listening to you sing and play your guitar.

  3. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Laurel,

    It’s nice to hear from you. I too think it silly that the Bush’s emphasis on books and literacy has been overlooked in all this. I am glad the Obama family will continue a focus on reading and education, but let’s not forget what the Bush’s did. Thanks for your comments!

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