B&N mogul decries “class warfare,” solicits pity for booksellers

A friend who works for a publishing company owned by Barnes & Noble writes:

Everyone here at work was treated to this forward from our publisher: apparently Len Riggio, the chairman of Barnes & Noble Inc., published a column in the Op-Ed section of the NYT yesterday. . . . I got a laugh out of a hugely rich dude in charge of the world’s largest bookstore mentioning class warfare in the NYT.

—– Original Message —–
From: []
To: []
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004
Subject: from Len Riggio

This appears today in the New York Times Op Ed section:

One Book, Two Book, Red Book, Blue Book
By LEONARD RIGGIO

If you follow the sales of books closely enough, you are bound to come across a beguiling revelation or two. Here’s one: the humor category is dominated by liberals and left-leaning authors. In fact, 95 percent of the sales in the political humor section comes from the left. Whether this means that conservative writers have no sense of humor, or that publishing houses fail to recognize it, is worthy of study – or even loud protest from the right.

Indeed, the right seems convinced that booksellers and publishers are trying to influence the election by publishing and prominently displaying books that attack President Bush. . . .

Pity the poor bookseller who gets caught in the middle. . . .

Finally, one last bulletin: Liberal books sell at lower price points, and especially in paperback, while conservative books sell mostly in hardcover. Whether this suggests impending class warfare is not yet clear.


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