Friday, November 30, 2007

the best sellers that no one reads

by looking around at other riders on my morning train ride, i get a small snapshot of what books people are reading these days. i've witnessed the rise and fall of "the da vinci code", "the kite runner", and several harry potter books. a lot of times there isn't any single popular book, just an assortment of books ranging from the popular to the really obscure. (and that's just among the folks not reading a newspaper, or watching something on an ipod or laptop)

it's pretty clear to me that even though they often make it on to the bestseller lists, almost no one ever reads those autobiographical books by politicians. i've always assumed their sales figures are driven mostly by sales to journalists who have to read the book as part of their job. maybe there are some sales to the politician-author's supporters. i imagine they might buy the book because they like the politician but never bother to read it. after all, i can't imagine ever wanting to read such a thing, even for someone i admire. and i've never seen anyone sitting down to read such a book.

that is until today. this morning the guy sitting in front of me was reading "the audacity of hope."

maybe he's a journalist.