Laura Bush kicks off book tour

Virginia: Former First Lady Laura Bush kicked off a national book tour Tuesday in northern Virginia, cranking out nearly 10 autographs a minute as hundreds of fans waited hours for a five-second opportunity to say hello.

Fans began lining up shortly after 7 a.m. outside the Books-A-Million in McLean for the chance to buy an autographed copy of Bush`s new memoir, "Spoken from the Heart."

Seated on a chair with gold-colored accents, Bush repeatedly thanked her many fans, who were thrilled to meet a woman they universally described as "a class act."

"I will read anything the Bush family writes," said Susan Miller, 64, of Arlington. "I`ve always admired Laura Bush and I can`t wait for her husband`s book to come out. I just think they`re a great team." Former President George W.

Bush`s memoir, "Decision Points," is set to be released in November.

Kristina Okhotin, 21, of San Diego said she is a fan of the Bushes, but she debated whether to attend the signing. She finally decided an opportunity to meet a first lady was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"In real life, she looked a lot prettier," Okhotin said.

Bush began signing books at noon and the line had cleared by about 1:30 p.m. Most of those waiting in line were women.

In the book she discusses her husband`s decision to stop drinking in the mid 1980s and describes him as "a bore" when he drank. She also writes about a fatal car accident she was involved in as a teenager growing up in Midland, Texas.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey on her syndicated television show Tuesday, Bush said she still carries guilt from the crash, in which she ran a stop sign and struck and killed a high school friend.

"What I did was try not to think about it, put it out of my mind," Bush told Winfrey.

As for the drinking, Bush told Winfrey it was part of the culture in Midland but that her husband decided after his 40th birthday to quit drinking, and did it cold turkey.
"I knew that George was drinking too much. ... He knew it, too," Bush said.
The former first lady is also scheduled to appear at bookstores in Arlington and Washington on Thursday before heading to Dallas on Friday.

Bureau Report


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