Sunday, May 30, 2010

Liberal Don't Read Books?

Forget Barnes and Noble - my source for reading material is our local Dollar Tree.

This bargain store - in which everything on offer is a dollar - features an extensive book collection with a ton of releases that are less than a year old. I've been scooping up handfuls of them for a section I'm thinking of adding to Militant Ginger called the 'Bargain Book Club.'

However, there's one unmistakable trend about these discounted books: The ones I'm most interested in reading - the ones with a topical political bent - are almost invariably liberal.

I find this oddly telling.

The Dollar Tree clearly buys boxes of these books for just pennies from the publisher - probably because they printed too many, or they just weren't selling. What was clearly a commercial cauchemar for the printing houses turned out to be a boon for text-hungry amateur pundits like myself.

But the fact that these unsuccessful books are almost invariably liberal in nature is interesting. It's not that there aren't conservative books - in fact, there are hundreds published each and every year. Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter churn out one a year, and I've even reviewed one of the better ones.

The only explanation I can think of is that conservative books actually sell, whereas liberal ones don't.

And to be honest, that appraisal makes sense. Just look at talk radio - Conservative talk radio is a storming success, while liberal attempts at mimicking the formula invariably fail (like Al Franken's ill-fated 'Air America.') Conservatives listen to similarly-minded pundits, while liberals similarly don't.

It makes perfect sense to assume that conservatives also read books that appeal to their political opinions - and that liberals don't.

At the risk of pissing my liberal friends off - especially admitting that I'm ostensibly liberal myself - I think it might be because we libs tend to assume we 'know it all already,' while conservatives are hungry to learn more (as long as that 'more' comes from voices that they trust and agree with.)

So I'm not really claiming that liberals don't read books - but I do believe they don't read political books - certainly not in the same manner conservatives voraciously do. That's why the Dollar Tree is stuffed with liberal literature, but there isn't a conservative cover to be seen there.


Susanne said...

I've heard after years of the mainstream media being overwhelmingly liberal (to Average Joe's point of view...since "liberalness" and "conservativeness" are rather subjective and have various degrees), conservatives are glad to finally have people speaking out on their behalf. This is why FOX has such a following among more conservative people. ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN -- for years were just liberal mouthpieces. So then we discover FOX and talk radio and see that we aren't as stupid and "alone" as the main stream media made us think we were. So it's like finding our voice. And for some this is Rush Limbaugh, other Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and so forth. I think conservative are just glad to be heard.

And, yes, I like reading books to learn more, too. I never want to think I have all the answers and come across as if I cannot learn from others.

Neat about all your bargain books! :)

Roland Hulme said...

Hey Susanne! Really interested by your perspective. It's neat about all my bargain books, but in some misguided attempt at bipartisanship I always try to read one conservative book for every liberal one I do - and that's just not possible if I only shop at Dollar Store!

Susanne said...

Roland, that's why I usually read what the library offers. :) Thankfully mine offers some variety.

I don't watch FOX except for the local bit at 10 PM, but neither do I watch the other stations much. Just not a TV watcher for the most part. I grew up reading Walter E. Williams and Thomas Sowell's columns in my local newspaper. Are you familiar with them?

Susanne said...

Here's a bit about Walter Williams. There are some videos on YouTube with him as well. He's a professor at George Mason University.

Thomas Sowell was a mentor, I believe.

I suppose I was intrigued by black men who were not Democrats since that's usually a given. These guys are more Libertarian and think many governmental policies are actually HURTING the black community.

Susanne said...

You'll probably now enable comment moderation to block all my comments, but I just read this on Thomas Sowell's favorite quotes page and found it rather cute.

The task of weaning various people and groups from the national nipple will not be easy. The sound of whines, bawls, screams and invective will fill the air as the agony of withdrawal pangs finds voice.

--Linda Bowles

and this one was great as well.

Everybody has asked the question. . ."What shall we do with the Negro?" I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!

--Frederick Douglass

OK, I'll stop.

paul mitchell said...

Roland, you are only mere inches away from recognizing the truth. Keep asking yourself these questions and enlightenment is right around the corner.

FYI, I am currently writing a book aptly titled, "If You Thought George Bush was Stupid, Look at the Current Moron-in-Chief." Face it, smart people do NOT go into politics, only corrupt people do. Wonder why Democrats have been in control for so long?

Andy said...

Interesting, Roland. I know for a fact that liberals read books. In fact every liberal I know is a "reader."

I'm a conservative, but I'll confess that I don't read conservative books. I guess I'm old and set in my ways. I don't really need any reinforcement of my values.

Maybe most liberals are like me...just not interested in spending the time to read something they already know.

I would read Paul's book...if he would give me a copy for free. But, that would be anti-capitalist, and it would be anti-conservative to ask for a handout.