President Fernández, Meet Paige Gutenborg!
What does the President of the Dominican Republic think about the Harvard Book Store?
From what we gathered in a short conversation with Leonel Fernández Reyna at the store's quaint premises on Mass. Ave. last night, he thinks it's pretty swell—especially that massive, book-churning robot called the Paige M. Gutenborg Book Machine, which can print a 300-page paperback in about four minutes.
"I have seen the future," Fernández said.
So how did we snag these precious few moments with DR's most powerful man? Well, last night, we spotted a bunch of police cars and limousines outside the Harvard Book Store and people in suits dispersed throughout the store, some sitting down and looking at books, while others tapped furiously onto their smart phones. Surely there had to be someone important in town.
And there he was. Leonel Fernández Reyna himself, browsing for some books. He told us that he was in town to visit a government official who was ill, and felt compelled to stop by the bookstore before leaving.
"I think this place is unique in the sense that it brings a community of reading," said Fernández, who typically visits the bookstore when he's in town. The nonfiction collection was by far his favorite, he added.
Check out our short video interview with Fernández, during which he talks about the bookstore, his favorite books, and the "way of the future."
P.S., if you can't spot the Dominican Republic on a map, shame on you.