George W Bush is a "history buff", a White House spokesman revealed as he disclosed the president's holiday reading list.
The presidential couple are spending Christmas at their ranch
Mr Bush is said to be reading a book on former President Theodore Roosevelt and another chronicling the US military.
"He reads a lot of books, based on recommendations," the president's spokesman Trent Duffy said.
In April, Mr Bush's iPod playlist was disclosed, showing an avid taste for country music and classic rock.
His reading includes When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt After the White House by Patricia O'Toole, which is about the former leader's African safari and his attempt to return to politics after leaving the White House in 1909.
He is also reading Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground - an account of the daily lives of US soldiers as told by Robert Kaplan, who accompanied several units overseas.
Speaking from the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, Mr Duffy warned against reading too much into the president's reading choices.
"He is an avid reader and the president knows full well that he's got a lot of time left in this second term and he's going accomplish big things," he told reporters.
For Christmas presents, First Lady Laura Bush is reported to have given her husband a book, clothes and biking gear, while he is said to have offered her jewellery and a DVD player.