In a column focused on the importance of reading Salon warns not to expect Summer Reading lists from Donald Trump.
Unlike President Obama who regularly posted what he was reading, Trump is unlikely to spend any time doing so. In a summer interview with The Washington Post he said that he has never been a big reader, “I never have. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy, I guess, than ever before.”
This is despite, as the Post points out, having multiple author credits himself, working with ghost writers, and publishing more than a dozen books, most of which are autobiographical. He also has claimed in those books to be a reader, suggesting a number of titles to others.
Trump follows one of the most avid defenders of reading and the written word as Salon comments. President Obama, as well as the first lady have “been staunch advocates of the literary arts, opening the White House to poetry jams and student readings and supporting independent bookstores like Washington’s Politics and Prose.”
Salon outlines how reading has helped past presidents, perhaps most famously the lessons John F. Kennedy learned from Barbara Tuchman’s best seller The Guns of August, which influenced his decision-making during the Cuban missile crisis.
The expressed lack of interest in reading is not just a matter of personal choice concludes Salon. Trump’s “disavowal of reading telegraphs to our children and society that books — and the people who write them — are not to be valued. It undermines the young artists who need to know that their craft matters and the teachers attempting to instill a respect for reading in their students. In short, it sends the message that acquiring knowledge through slow, deliberate study is unnecessary.”