What book do you want Donald Trump to read?

“Burying the Oval Office in a mountain of great books.”
“Burying the Oval Office in a mountain of great books.”
Image: Reuters/Andrew Kelly
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Rumor has it that US president Donald Trump doesn’t read books regularly. To change that, this year on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, a group of readers from around the country will flood the Executive Office Building with about 800 books that they want their president to read.

Aaron Hamburger and Stacie Whitaker, both writers, organized the campaign on Facebook starting Jan. 28, describing the aim to “share our love of literature and hopes for a better world by burying the Oval Office in a mountain of great books.” They also hope to inspire a new reflectiveness in the president.

“A big part of being a leader is knowing what it is to sit in an audience—to listen and take in,” says Hamburger, who is based in Washington DC. “To put yourself in a humbling and informing experience that only reading provides—there are very few other experiences where you submit yourself to take in the voice and consciousness of another [person] in such a deep way.”

Organizers said they expect 800 books will be delivered to the president. But it’s possible not even one title will end up on the president’s desk. With an average of 10,000 letters a day, White House staffers have in the past used a detailed system for sorting mail to its many departments. Each president has had his own preferences on what mail he wanted to receive: Barack Obama asked to see 10 letters (paywall) from his constituents a week, for example. It’s not clear what Trump sees of citizens’ correspondence. Since 2001, all mail addressed to the White House has also been separately screened by the US Secret Service in Maryland, reports CNBC.

The books suggested by the community show the concerns of America’s avid book-lovers, and what they hope to teach the president. The titles include fiction and children’s classics, philosophy texts, and books about environmental destruction, race, and world history. Here’s a sample:

  • Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
  • The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss
  • The Vagina Monologues, by Eve Ensler
  • The Origins of Totalitarianism, by Hannah Arendt
  • Night, by Elie Wiesel
  • The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
  • In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust
  • John Adams, by David McCullough
  • How the US Government Works, by Syl Sobel
  • Animal Farm, by George Orwell
  • Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
  • The Constitution
  • American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass
  • A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown
  • Dykes to Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel
  • The Art of Power, by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Easy Spanish Phrase Book
  • The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
  • Our Endangered Values, by Jimmy Carter
  • The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, by Masha Gessen
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to U.S. Government and Politics
  • A thesaurus