...[T]he White House’s claims about the notches on Bush’s literary bedpost are almost certainly false. Using lists provided by the White House, the 60 books the president is alleged to have read since January total tens of thousands of pages. (The Stranger may be fairly short, but many of the titles on the list were lengthy treatises. Kai Bird’s American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, for example, is almost 800 pages.)
The boasts simply strain credulity. We’re talking about a man who, by his own admission, likes to get to bed early, insists on a two-hour midday exercise break, and reads maybe 30 pages of book text a day. He also ostensibly oversees the executive branch of government during a war. If we expand the definition of “read? to include Cliff’s Notes, abridged books on tape, and skimming over a book’s jacket, then maybe the claims are plausible. Otherwise, they’re demonstrably ridiculous.