Saturday, April 25, 2009

First ladies and books.

The limited range of expressions that politicians' wives were, for a long time, allowed, did not include any expressions that implied they read a lot.

Mamie Eisenhower, after Ike died, the other half of her bed was filled with books.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, in her New York apartment, used piles of books as decorating features, which worked because of her stylishness. Several piles of books topped with something flat worked as a table. Stacks of books just sitting there were elegant people can arrange things just right and then will them to be elegant. And, of course, they looked good because she loved books.

She worked several days a week as a book editor at Doubleday and put out some smart, good-looking books.

Laura Bush was a librarian. She put on events at the White House promoting different parts of American literature--classic good librarian programming gone big-time. Compared to other library programming, it had more famous people. In contrast to other library programming, the most mild-mannered program could become contentious and have famous people noisily refusing to show up because of the Iraq war.

First ladies and first ladies reading lists?

It would be interesting to have around the dresses some books first ladies read in editions from the time they read. Maybe with also editions of the same books from right now that you could get a hold of and read right now.

To have a sample reading display of some books they read and to make it clear that people like Eisenhower, Kennedy Onassis and Bush swan in sea of books.