WASHINGTON—President George W. Bush told reporters Monday that he remains optimistic that the impending recession will end before his memoirs go on sale. "With any luck, we can pull together as a nation and get through this thing before Dec. 15, 2010," said Bush, referring to the tentative release date of his autobiography, Born Leading. "It would be a terrible tragedy if this massive economic downturn left the average American family unable to afford the $39.95 plus tax they need to buy my book." Bush added that he is currently considering an exclusive straight- to-paperback deal with Wal-Mart to make his memoirs less costly should the country slide into a crippling economic depression.