President Patronizes Indie Book Store For Small Business Saturday

Indie Book Obama

via Writers Write

Small Business Saturday is the rational person's response to Black Friday. It encourages shoppers to invest in local economies by patronizing mom-and-pop shops, a much nicer alternative to lining up outside a Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. to get pepper-sprayed for an XBox 360. 

It's a lovely sentiment, even if the event is sponsored by American Express

President Barack Obama marked Small Business Saturday by taking his daughters, Malia and Sasha, to Kramerbook & Afterwords Cafe in Washington, D.C., an independent bookstore near the White House.

See!? Even the president supports indie bookstores! Stop doing all your shopping on Amazon.

So what books did the president and his daughters buy? 

  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  • Tails by Matthew Van Fleet
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • Diary of a Wimpy 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

I bet Obama was all like "Yea, my daughters bought Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and then he went home and read it himself.

Check out the video of the president's visit to the store: 

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Nathan's picture
Nathan from Louisiana (South of New Orleans) is reading Re-reading The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste, The Bone Weaver's Orchard by Sarah Read November 28, 2011 - 6:48pm

The President and his daughters bought The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz?

Newfound respect for him.

You definitely bring on the most interesting columns, Rob. Big fan over here. 

And stop hating on amazon -best prices, best selection, best methods of delivery.

Even when I try to go to a bookstore, they never have the books I'm looking for. Amazon can get me whatever I want, whenever I want, and faster than the bookstores who have to special order. Or when the bookstores actually do have a book I want, say a more popular title, amazon always gets it to me cheaper. Not to mention now I can get my books with a click from wherever I am. So I don't know... I hate to see a bookstore go out of business, but you have to have something to offer if you're taking my money, and look at Blockbuster or the Sam Goody type chain stores that used to be the primary source for buying music. All fading out. 

I don't think it's a "bookstore" thing -I think the "store" or the "plaza" mall concept in general is going digital like print and paper and banking. 

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy November 28, 2011 - 7:05pm

Oh yeah, who the fuck cares? Why doesn't he try reading The Constitutuon.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine November 28, 2011 - 8:05pm

Hahaha. Damn durty librulls!

JMKoontz's picture
JMKoontz November 28, 2011 - 8:57pm

First I applaud the First Family for supporting local business and for supporting reading.

I do find it ironic that an article about supporting local/independent bookstores is followed immediately by the ability to purchase several of the books mentioned in said article - from Amazon ...

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this November 28, 2011 - 9:56pm

Thanks Nathan, I appreciate your support. 

And I'm with you on Amazon. I'm doing 80 percent of my holiday shopping there. But I can never resist the snarky comment. 

Plus the digital publishing imprint I work for is run through and indie bookstore, and of course I need to root for the home team. 

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch November 28, 2011 - 10:23pm

Nothing wrong with promoting reading. I just thought the "patronizing" in the title was the bad kind of patronizing, until I read the article.

Waterhouse's picture
Waterhouse from Columbus is reading Bullet Park, John Cheever November 29, 2011 - 8:19am

Cynical photo op. Read article, unimpressed.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine November 29, 2011 - 8:51am

Don't know how a photo op itself can be cynical, but I get what you're driving at. This definitely has to do with publicity.

Casey Dee's picture
Casey Dee from StoneyHell is reading The Brothers Karamazov November 29, 2011 - 11:38am

Publicity, yes. I don't particularly care if they care about the indie bookstore. If some moron sees this and says, "I love the President. I love bookstores because the President loves bookstores. Let's save the bookstores!" I will be pleased. Thanks man, much appreciated.  

NotMarilyn's picture
NotMarilyn from Twin Cities, MN is reading Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn November 29, 2011 - 2:28pm

Casey Dee: Agreed. Who cares how as long as bookstores stay in business.