This Valentine’s Day, readers from all across the United States took part in a political protest designed with the literary lover in mind. After President Donald Trump admitted to not really reading much more than his regular morning papers in an interview with The New York Times, the group, “Leaders Are Readers“, began a national protest they dubbed “Bury the White House in Books on Valentine’s Day!”.
The conviction that drives “Leaders Are Readers” is simply stated in the about section of their Facebook page. The statement reads, “Donald Trump doesn’t read books. Let’s share our love of literature & hopes for a better world by deluging the Oval Office with a flood of great books.”
With over 14,000 individuals invited to the event, approximately 1,100 of those people claimed to be committed to standing in line at the post office this February 14th. The books selected were not just any random book or two off the shelf; they were thoughtfully chosen, each meant as commentary and critiques for the new administration.
Protesters advertised their choices on the event wall, using this opportunity to be clever and creative. Facebook’s posts showed choices of classics such as 1984 by George Orwell and Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird being sent alongside activity books about the United States Constitution. Written works of feminists such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and abolitionists like Frederick Douglass filled the long strings of comments of the event creating a list of authors which should be on every informed reader’s wishlist. Even the iconic Dr. Seuss made several appearances with various titles.
Over a thousand books were sent to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In addition, a book or a monetary donation was sent to a local charity of the sender’s choice. This means that literary non-profits and local libraries received some well-deserved love in conjunction with the new President of the United States.
Hundreds of books showing up at the White House post office is quite a sight to consider, and will hopefully make an impact on the new administration. Even if President Trump does not read every single novel or use every coloring book about America’s history, it shows that our nation cares about literature and the impact books have on us all.
Featured image courtesy of The Huffington Post.