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.
Barack Obama in His Own Words, When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden, Why We're Liberals: A Handbook for Restoring America's Most Important Ideals and It's Still the Economy, Stupid: George W. Bush, The GOP's CEO- all a dollar each!
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.