Passing a book along to others may hurt sales, but former President Barack Obama doesn’t have to worry about that when it comes to his highly anticipated memoir A Promised Land. He’s hoping young people read his book and pass their copy along to their friends, and shared his wish through a viral TikTok challenge on Nov. 20. His “Pass the Book” challenge was posted to a division of the memoir’s publisher Penguin Random House, via the Penguin Teen’s TikTok page, so it was directed towards younger readers. It also marked Obama’s first ever appearance on TikTok!
The 59-year-old came into the frame holding a copy of his book while wearing a dark suit with a crisp white shirt and no tie. He looked into the camera and said “This book expresses the incredible hope I have in you,” pointing his finger towards the viewer. “Take this and pass it on,” he added, handing the book to someone off-camera.
The 701 page memoir was released on Nov. 17, and will likely become the highest selling book of 2020 if history is any indication. His wife Michelle Obama, 56, released her memoir Becoming on Nov. 13, 2018 and in just 15 days it became the top selling book of that year, moving over two million copies that quickly. Some TikTok users are already doing duet videos with Obama’s pass to them, with several holding up Becoming before taking a pass from Obama to hold a copy of A Promised Land.
The hardcover A Promised Land currently is selling for $34.99, but in these tough economic times due to COVID-19, book sharing has become an incredibly popular way of getting fresh reading material out to friends and family. There’s only so much sitting on the sofa watching streaming services that people at home can take. Thus, the rising popularity of curling up with a good book has become one of the few positive things to come out of the coronavirus pandemic.
After beloved former First Lady Michelle released Becoming, she went on an extensive book tour, filling massive arenas and sharing stories with enthralled audiences. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, Obama won’t be able to do such a tour. But he has began making TV appearances to promote his tome. Our 44th POTUS appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Nov. 19 to kick things off, showing off his sense of humor in saying that he didn’t have to make his book over 700 pages long for outgoing reading-averse President Donald Trump to avoid checking it out.