How Much Did Teddy Roosevelt Enjoy Reading?

It has frequently been said that President Donald Trump doesn’t read much, preferring to get his information from watching television. According to some White House insiders, Trump doesn't even like to read short memos or policy papers. President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt was on the other end of the bibliophile spectrum. The 26th President of the United States (in office from 1901 to 1909) read multiple books every day, often completing an entire book before breakfast. “Reading with me is a disease,” Roosevelt once said.

More on presidential hobbies and reading habits:

  • Roosevelt was also a boxing fan, and would go a few rounds with anyone willing to get in the ring with him. At age 50, he took a hard punch to his left eye, a blow that led to partial blindness.
  • President Zachary Taylor was almost illiterate. His “formal education was limited, and his earliest writing suffers from poor spelling and unusually bad grammar,” according to a biography.
  • James Buchanan loved biographies of George Washington. “His reading embraced all classes of literature, and he conversed intelligently on all subjects,” according to an 1883 biography.
More Info: The Washington Post

Discussion Comments


WiseGeek in my opinion is a-political. It has this unique capability of putting all the stuff you need in a short paragraph and few bullets. That's a feat few can achieve. Congratulations to the editors!


While the comparison between the information gathering habits of Theodore Roosevelt and Donald Trump is the central point of this article, it's also worth noting how little television and internet access was available in the early 1900's.

I've never looked down on those who couldn't read or spell like I do. It would just be wrong.

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