Publishers love putting out books about whoever the current president is, but public interest in those titles tends to plummet as soon as the White House changes hands. Which makes sense: people love reading stuff that’s ripped from the headlines, not so much stuff rummaged from history’s dustbin – or, more accurately, history’s remainder table. Reading about the minutiae of the Clinton administration in the twenty-first century sounds about as appetizing as eating a frozen dinner from 1996.
But some publishers are hoping that with this, as with so many other things, Donald Trump will defy the norms. His administration has already proven to be an unusually fecund subject: the New York Times reports that more than 1,200 books about Trump have been released during his single term, compared with only about 500 books about Barack Obama during his first four years in office. And even as Trump settles into Florida retirement, the books will just keep coming.
The library doesn’t have those future books yet, but in the meantime there’s no shortage of reading material available if you’re looking to relive the past four years.
There are so many books about Trump, in fact, that one of the books is just about the author trying to read all the other books about Trump:
And then there are the accounts by the former president’s relatives, friends, and employees. Because in a world where Billy Carter can publish a book, it would seem almost silly not to write one of your own.
And then there are all the rest.
A few caveats about this list – first of all, it’s incomplete. This is only a portion of the most recent books this library owns about the Trump presidency, and the books we own are only a fraction of the books that have been published, which if laid end-to-end could reach from Toledo to Mar-a-Lago and back seventeen times.
Second caveat: most of these books are highly opinionated, not to say inflammatory. If you hold any opinions of any kind, however mild, about the Trump administration, at least some of these titles are likely to infuriate you and should be perused only under a doctor’s supervision.
Third caveat: that Mar-a-Lago thing above was a fake fact.
And then there are the satirists and the parodists. Every presidency attracts the slings and arrows of outrageous humorists – the teddy bear takes its name from cartoons needling President Roosevelt for refusing to shoot a bear while hunting. Cartoons and novelty songs ensued after President Carter reported that his rowboat was attacked by a swimming rabbit. And newspapers mocked President Lincoln for having to travel secretly to his inauguration because of death threats. If they’d had Etsy back then, you could have bought merchandise with slogans like “I Snuck Abe Lincoln Through Baltimore by Night and All I Got Was This Anachronistic T-Shirt.”
Basically, if nobody’s making fun of you, then you’re probably not president.
Maybe, by the time you read this, the public’s attention will have moved on to other things and books about the Trump administration will have started gathering dust alongside books about George W. Bush and fidget spinners. Or maybe these books will have claimed their own section of the library. Maybe Anthony Scaramucci will have his own shelf. Time will tell.