ARLINGTON, Va. -- President Barack Obama made a quick trip to a Virginia bookstore for some Christmas shopping.

The president took his daughters, Sasha and Malia, to One More Page Books in Arlington, Va., on Saturday afternoon.

The White House says Obama was promoting an effort called "small business Saturday" to encourage shoppers to patronize mom-and-pop businesses after Thanksgiving.

At the store, Obama held up his BlackBerry, apparently looking up a book title as he spoke with shop owner Eileen McGervey. He said "preparation" was the key to his shopping.

Obama brushed off a reporter's question about the looming "fiscal cliff," saying "we're doing Christmas shopping."

The White House says Obama bought 15 children's books that will be given as Christmas gifts to family members.

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  • Barack Obama, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama

    President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, far right, and Malia, center, goes shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Barack Obama, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama

    President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, center, and Malia, left, goes shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Barack Obama, Malia Obama

    President Barack Obama, with daughter Malia, left, goes shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Barack Obama, Malia Obama

    President Barack Obama, with daughter Malia, right, goes shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Barack Obama, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama

    President Barack Obama, with daughters Malia, center, and Sasha, right, goes shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Barack Obama, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama

    President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, left, and Malia, right, goes shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Barack Obama, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama

    President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, left, and Malia, right, goes shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama greets the public after shopping at a small bookstore in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)