There was one question in particular of interest to us book lovers, and that came from a woman who asked what Obama would say to young writers. He was surprised by the question, which he admitted was one he hadn’t heard before, but didn’t hesitate to answer. He referenced his two books, and specifically mentioned how he wrote them himself, along with many of his speeches. With a light inflection, he said, “In terms of getting a job, knowing how to write is a good thing.” He talked about how he kept a journal, and how it was important for teaching him not only how to write, but also how to think. But my favorite part was when he said, “Over the course of four years I made time to read all of the Harry Potter books out loud to my daughters. If I can do that and run for president, then you can find time to read to your kids. That’s some of the most special time you have with your children.”How refreshing to have a potential president who can actually read and write and think (his recent FISA vote excepted!)
I was also delighted to read about this recent Barbara Ehrenriech event at Skylight Books in which she shifted the spotlight away from herself and invited labor organizers who work with local car wash employees to speak about their current struggle. She was able to get the audience engaged in this very real issue--I love how she took her activism off the page and into the room, how she used her platform as a writer to give others a voice. Very inspiring indeed.