4 Million Trump books
I became director in the spring of 2016. Part of the director’s job is ordering materials for the library. I don’t know if you remember, but there was an election that year. I was astonished by the amount of Trump books that were being released, but I thought maybe that was a typical thing with an election year and a new president. On Saturday, with the election being called, I immediately thought, thank goodness, no more Trump books and please don’t let there be a duplication of Biden books. I also thought that this topic would make for a good bookworm, so I googled, “How many books have been written about Trump?”. The following was the first hit on Wikipedia: “Almost one year after his inauguration as president, The Guardian noted that more than 4,500 English-language books about Trump had been published since he took office, compared to just over 800 works about predecessor Barack Obama during his first year in office.” Don’t be alarmed, my research didn’t stop there, but my idea for a bookworm took on a new direction.
I did an advanced search in our card catalog using Trump as a keyword and Adult Non-fiction as the material type, there were 43 hits. 6 hits could not be counted, 1 because it was Ivanka and the other 5 were trump as a verb, not a proper noun. Of the 37 titles referenced to President Trump, all were printed since 2016, minus 1, “Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again” by Donald Trump that was printed in 2015.
I have been constantly disappointed by the amount of Trump books published in the last 4 years, mainly because there was no way I could keep up. Seriously, we would have had to add on a Trump wing if I had purchased all of them. To be honest, I am appalled that I purchased as many as I did.
This morning, as I was researching (beyond Wikipedia) I found a couple of things that I actually chuckled at. 1. Anna Gooding-Call’s article with bookriot, had a chart titled “The Rise of the Trump Genre”. 2. An article in the New York Times had this quote, “There have been so many high-profile books about the Trump era that there’s even a forthcoming book about all the Trump books.” Dear God, make it stop.
I find it fascinating that some topics can be written about over and over again and still appeal to readers, over and over again. The Civil War, World War II, Nazis (specifically), the Kennedys and now Donald Trump. Why? You can make the argument that the wars, as a genre, even a Nazi genre, is a good thing. I mean we must know our history with the hope that we not repeat it, especially moments that are not the brightest or best times. Maybe you can think that the Kennedy genre and the Trump genre are good things, as in what a wonderful family or man, hmmm, probably not. We refer to the Kennedy administration as the Camelot era, well, actually Jaqueline Kennedy was the first to refer to it as such, but let’s be honest, the Kennedy family has suffered multiple tragedies. As far as Trump goes, a vast amount of the books written during his presidency have not been favorable. I personally think that all these things maintain their appeal for the same reason that people slow down to look at car wrecks. I think we like messy, ugly things. Boo.
I am done purchasing materials for the 2020 year, I look forward to my first order in January. I might actually start keeping track of the “genres” that never die, and I would take bets that at least a few more Trump books will roll and in and yep, I bet a Biden book will show up.
I just did a catalog search; we already have 2 hits for Joe. Hmmmm.
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