Obama shops local again on Small Business Saturday

After visiting a Washington bookstore last year in support of shopping local, Obama and his daughters headed to an indie bookstore in Virginia this past Saturday to continue to promote the message.

Yuri Gripas/Reuters
The president and his daughters Sasha (l.) and Malia (r.) shop at One More Page Books in Arlington, Va.

He’s done it again! Indie bookstore surprise supporter President Obama visited a local bookstore on Small Business Saturday, the second time he’s touted the shopping local day (and bookstores) in as many years.

This year Obama took his daughters Sasha and Malia to One More Page Books in Arlington, Va., near Washington. The trio spent about 20 minutes in the store browsing through books and quietly conversing with other shoppers. Then Obama reportedly whipped out his BlackBerry smartphone, on which he made a shopping book list.

“Preparation, you know,” he told shop owner Eileen McGervey, according to news reports. “That’s how I shop.”

Obama and his daughters bought 15 children’s books at One More Page Books to be gifted to family, according to the White House. It did not release a list of which books he purchased.

On Twitter the President later added, “My family & I started out holiday shopping at a local bookstore on #SmallBizSat. I hope you’ll join & shop small this holiday season. –bo”

Launched in 2010, Small Business Saturday was started by American Express to redirect some of the holiday shopping frenzy to supporting small business nationwide. Last year some 100 million Americans supported small businesses on Small Business Saturday, according to American Express. This year, independent bookstores played a more prominent role with the launch of Thanks for Shopping Indie, the American Booksellers Association’s weeklong promotion bringing special discounts to popular titles at indie stores.

Last year, Obama and his daughters visited another local bookstore, Kramerbooks & Afterwards Café in Washington, where they purchased eight books, including novels, nonfiction, and children’s books. (Read more about that visit and which books Obama bought here.)

Saturday, we’re glad to report, was all about the books – no politics. When asked by a reporter whether his literary shopping spree was the President’s effort to keep the country from going over the looming fiscal cliff, Obama answered, “Come on, we’re doing Christmas shopping. Happy Thanksgiving, folks.”

Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.

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