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Monday, January 26, 2015

The State of the Union For Books

President Barack Obama issued a passionate State of the Union address that revealed an ambitious agenda, a chance to shape his legacy, and an opportunity for the nation to reflect on where it is and questioned where it's heading.  Though he didn't directly mention any new initiatives to help writers or the book publishing industry, I have a few initiatives he could have presented to the watchful eyes and ears of an American public eager to see the nation grow as it moves beyond the shadows of The Great Recession and The Terrorism Era.

While Obama talked about making community college free, which could help to sell more textbooks, eh didn't talk about things that would really boost society, like:
·         A tax cut to book publishers
·         Allowing people to buy books pre-tax
·         Banning tales tax on books
·         Giving writers tuition reimbursement for Master of Fine Arts program participation
·         Creating a program to provide up to $100 worth of books to those living in poverty each year
·         Boosting government budgets for libraries
·         Hiring an army of 100,000 literary tutors to help immigrants, children, the unemployed, or those in prison to read and gain the most valuable of all skills

Granted, the State of the Union is just a big speech, full of bluster and chest-thumping, but even so, books should be a part of the national dialogue.  We need our top leader to share a vision about the value of books and to support the role they play in a society like ours.

Forget talk of the military, housing, jobs, or the political favorites such as abortion or immigration.  President Obama should have appealed to the masses by talking about books.  It's a safe area.  Who doesn't support reading and learning?  Who doesn't benefit from a more literate society?

Okay, so books won't win elections and talking about them is not too sexy.  But if we just keep talking about energy, taxes, the environment, ISIS, and the repeat issues of every local, state, and federal election, we'll never get to talking about books.

How about creating a national book club?
Could we declare 2015 the year of the book?
Shall the government fund awards to honor books?
Might the White House want to dedicate a day to meeting with publishing ambassadors and authors who make a difference?

The State of the Union was strong and inspiring, but next time the president of the United States could simply say: Read more books!


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015


  1. Agreed! You have some great ideas there, Brian.

    The CBS Evening News with Gregg Preston: Twenty-five years ago, the communist leaders sent in tanks to put an end to weeks of peaceful protests in Tiananmen Square. Today, people from all over the world queued to buy flowers honoring the dead on the square...
    This evening there were also many blind or partially sighted teenagers. Perhaps they deliberately gathered to support the today's protest of the students, on the occasion of the anniversary. In previous weeks, the authorities had been able to prevent a few similar peaceful gatherings in the square, but today they decided not to interfere.
    The evening was pleasant and crowded, though the breeze had totally subsided. There were vendors selling kites and people trying to put their kites in the air. Strange, huh? Well, there are many things that are allowed now... But if you are concerned about discussing the history of the square this is something else. You should never talk about the history of the square from 1989. That dark and violent history, you know.
    Anyway, we were tempted by a pair of Chinese teenagers, a boy and a girl, who was kissing. They were locked their lips passionate without shame in the middle of the square. And guess what? They were true romantics.
    The boy named Chao was clutching a kite. He handed the kite on the girl. The girl, named Hua (flower) pulled out a pen and wrote her name and the name of the boy onto the kite.
    "Go Chao, go. Let us fly the kite high up in the sky," Hua called out.
    Can you imagine that the Lord God was watching and He sent a wind that lifted the kite high in the air? Of course the job was supported also by the skills of Chao, but it was a real miracle.
    Suddenly the boy stopped and looked down. The kite had risen to too high an angle for the wind to sustain, but Chao did not paid attention to it any more.
    A step ahead of the boy on the ground stood a brand new box with four razor blades. Amazed, Chao stood looking upon the Gillette blades with his gleaming eyes.
    Hua could not understand why Chao had suddenly stopped. But even from a distance she saw that the boy dropped the rope of the kite and stooped to pick something off the ground.
    In the new millennium, the UN Security Council decided that some of the Middle East countries have to halt all activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. The threat of a THIRD WORLD WAR conquered the minds of the world community. The focus fell on the Arab world and the terrorist Islamic radicals.
    Nobody could imagine that the real threat would come from elsewhere.
    At that time, one day, someone close to the Feliciano clan, the most notorious and feared group within the Camorra mafia, deliberately left a brand new box with four razor blades in the middle of a lively square somewhere in Central Asia.
    Inside this seemingly brand new and unopened product, on the edge of one of the blades lurked a deadly virus. A virus synthesized by Dr. Kirsch, which was harmless to the majority of mankind, but instantly lethal to the Mongoloid race.
    In two years only the contagion spread around the world and killed more than three billion Koreans, Japanese and Chinese people before the invention of the cure. In the most affected countries as China nearly two million volunteers were mobilized to test the infected people every day, prompting government institutions to declare an extensive area under quarantine with highly restricted access.
    The closure of borders and the lack of manpower dealt a heavy blow to the global economy. The most essential goods, domestic appliances and thousands of other tools suddenly disappeared. It was difficult to buy even a toaster.


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