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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
June 6, 2007
Mrs. Bush's Remarks in a Question and Answer Session with Children at the Opening of America@your Library
Schwerin City Library
10:20 A.M. (Local)
MRS. BUSH: Does anybody have any questions? Don't be shy.
Q What do you do in your free time?
MRS. BUSH: Well, I do what a lot of other people do. I like to exercise. I like to go for walks. I hike in our national parks in the United States. I have three pets, two dogs and a cat, that I like to be with. I have two beautiful grown daughters who are 25 years old, and I like to be with them, of course, in my free time.
Reading is my favorite hobby, so I do a lot of reading in my free time, as well. What do you like to do in your free time?
Q I like trumpet playing.
MRS. BUSH: Oh, you do? Great. (Laughter.) You're a musician.
MRS. BUSH: Good, that's great. Any other questions? Thank you.
Q What is your favorite pet?
MRS. BUSH: What is my favorite pet? Is that what you said, pet? I like cats. I do have two dogs, and I love dogs, too, but my favorite is my cat. Do you have a pet?
Q No, but I want to.
MRS. BUSH: You want to? A dog or a cat? A cat. Any more?
Q What do you do for sports?
MRS. BUSH: For sports, I like to hike. I like to go for walks. And I actually work out with a trainer and lift weights. It's good for ladies to build their bones.
But on television, President Bush and I like to watch baseball. Do you all know much about American baseball?
MRS. BUSH: You do? That's what we like to watch on TV. Any others?
Q What's your favorite book?
MRS. BUSH: Well, that's a very interesting question to ask a librarian, because I have so many favorite books. But my favorite children's books -- and I think they're part of the America@Your Library series -- are the Little House on the Prairie books.
The Little House on the Prairie books are about the settlement of the frontier in the United States a little over a hundred years ago. And the main character is named Laura, and she has brown hair. So when I was a little girl, I always really felt like I knew that little girl named Laura because that was my name, and I loved those books best.
Do you have a favorite book?
Q I have lots of favorites.
MRS. BUSH: Can you name one?
Q Artemus Fowl.
MRS. BUSH: Great. Good. Any others?
Q What role does literature play in your life?
MRS. BUSH: The future? Oh, literature. Oh, I've always really loved literature. I think literature is very, very important for all people to read, because I think the more we read the more we understand other ideas and other people. And especially in our world today, it's very important that we reach out to each other. Our world has gotten so small because of television and the Internet. And we see what's happening everywhere around our world. So it's very important for us to reach out. And one way to learn about other people is to read literature from all different countries.
Any others? Go ahead.
Q Do you speak a little German? (Laughter.)
MRS. BUSH: No. As you can tell. I studied Spanish. I live in a state in the United States that's on the border with Mexico. We share a long, 1,200-mile border with Mexico. And so most people in my state study Spanish, as well as English.
Q What was your favorite lesson in school?
MRS. BUSH: My favorite lesson, of course, as you can all tell, was reading and language. That's what I liked the best. And in fact, I liked it so much I made my career out of it and became a librarian. My favorite thing to do was to read, and so I grew up and became a librarian.
I don't know if you've ever thought that something that might be your favorite thing to do right now is something you could make your job of when you're grown.
Did you have one?
Q How is it with George W. Bush by marriage?
MRS. BUSH: By marriage? (Laughter.) It's great. (Laughter.) It's very good. I love my husband very much, as you might imagine, and I have a lot of opportunities, because he's President of the United States, to do things like this today, to be with you, to get to meet you, to have the chance to see your beautiful city and to later on this evening also have the chance to be with your Chancellor and other world leaders and to talk about all the things we can do as leaders to make things better in the world.
Q How old are you?
MRS. BUSH: How old am I? (Laughter.) Don't tell anyone. Sixty. Very old. (Laughter.)
Q Are there many libraries where you come from, and which is your favorite library?
MRS. BUSH: There are many, many libraries. Nearly every city and small town in the United States has a public library like this one -- not often in this pretty a building. But every -- and then many, many schools have their own libraries, as well, just the public schools that children go to across the United States.
And I actually have a foundation that gives money to school libraries so school libraries can buy bigger collections, stock more books for students.
But my favorite library is in Midland, Texas, where I was born and where I grew up and where my mother would take me when I was a little girl before I could even read to check out books, and then she would read those books to me.
Thank you all very, very much. I've really enjoyed this chance to be with you.