This is Pat Schroeder, the old feminist Democrat who cried when she withdrew from a presidential bid in 1987, retired from Congress in 1997, and now serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Publishers, where they think it is wise to trash and mock conservative consumers. What does she think of you and me? We’re Neanderthals, of course:
Liberals read more books than conservatives. The head of the book publishing industry’s trade group says she knows why—and there’s little flattering about conservative readers in her explanation.
“The Karl Roves of the world have built a generation that just wants a couple slogans: ‘No, don’t raise my taxes, no new taxes,'” Pat Schroeder, president of the American Association of Publishers, said in a recent interview. “It’s pretty hard to write a book saying, ‘No new taxes, no new taxes, no new taxes’ on every page.”
Schroeder, who as a Colorado Democrat was once one of Congress’ most liberal House members, was responding to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll that found people who consider themselves liberals are more prodigious book readers than conservatives.
She said liberals tend to be policy wonks who “can’t say anything in less than paragraphs. We really want the whole picture, want to peel the onion.”
Here’s the poll Schroeder’s referring to, but the gulf in book reading that Schroeder perceives is not backed up by the actual poll results:
Among those who had read at least one book, liberals typically read nine books in the year, with half reading more than that and half less. Conservatives typically read eight, moderates five. By slightly wider margins, Democrats tended to read more books than Republicans and independents. There were no differences by political party in the percentage of those who said they had not read at least one book.
And then there’s this:
Who are the 27 percent of people the AP-Ipsos poll found hadn’t read a single book this year? Nearly a third of men and a quarter of women fit that category. They tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, from rural areas and less religious.
No indication on what these non-readers’ political affiliations are.
This is also noteworthy:
The Bible and religious works were read by two-thirds in the survey, more than all other categories. Popular fiction, histories, biographies and mysteries were all cited by about half, while one in five read romance novels. Every other genre — including politics, poetry and classical literature — were named by fewer than five percent of readers.
So while Schroeder uses the poll to extol liberal readers as learned “policy wonks,” political books are a blip on the screen.
Can’t wait for her reaction to the fact that the Bible and religious works were the most widely read books among those polled.
Peel that onion, Patty.
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