News & Politics

Hoping to Check Out Obama’s New Book From the Library? Good Luck.

You'll have about 300 people ahead of you in the hold line.

President Obama’s new memoir, A Promised Land, debuted yesterday and set a first-day sales record for Penguin Random House, with nearly 890,000 copies sold. In the book, Obama offers details on some of the most defining moments of his presidency and reflects on his unexpected rise in power to become the leader of the free world.

If you want to read it sometime before the pandemic’s over, though, you’re probably going to have to cough up the cash and buy it. Though the DC Public Library system has 25 physical copies, 50 e-book copies, and 50 e-audiobook copies of the memoir available, all 125 copies are currently checked out or waiting for pickup. And the hold lines are substantial—as of Wednesday morning, you’d have 288 readers ahead of you for a print copy, 327 for an e-book, and 331 for an e-audiobook.

The library has ordered 32 more physical copies of the memoir, which should help those at the end of the hold line could get their hands on the book sometime before the 2022 midterms.

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.