From a couple readers:
Dear Mr. Goldberg-
I am an admiring reader of your columns. Recently, after your interview with Hugh Hewitt I decided to buy your book liberal fascism. I went to our local Barnes and Noble in Scarsdale, NY. After looking around I was puzzled not to find any piles of the book in front or anywhere else where “best sellers” were being promoted. Finally I asked a young sales clerk to help find it. I explained I was looking for Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. He consulted the computer and said “we don’t stock this item”. I calmly gave him a look of disbelief and said “I don’t understand what you are telling me. This book is NUMBER ONE on the NY TIMES bestseller list”. HE looked embarrassed, and told me to wait a minute while he disappeared into the back. When he came out he then led me to the “Political Philosophy” section where there was a lone copy wedged among other books. He explained he checked another database and that it had indicated “negative one or two copies”. I didn’t really understand what he meant. In any case I left with the book and look forward to reading it. Actually it was a present for my father [Name withheld] who survived both the Nazis in Germany particularly in Berlin, as well as the Soviets and the NKVD in the immediate post war period. He was fortunate to immigrate to this country in 1947. Sadly my very liberal brother and sister in law went ballistic when they say my present. “#1 NY TIMES bestseller” only makes BDS sufferers more angry. In any case I’ll read it hopefully after my father, or maybe order a second copy from Amazon. Thank god for the internet which allows conservatives to break through the liberal lock on things.
And from Canada:
Hey Jonah, Let me be frank, I do not self-identify politically as a conservative, but an independent with a contrarian streak who enjoys examining both sides of any given issue before deciding, so I write not as an ardent admirer but a lover of the printed word perturbed by the childlike behavior with which your book is being treated by chain bookstores here in Canada. After perusing sections of your blog on NRO and discovering multiple posts from Canadians having to go absurd lengths to purchase your book at their local bookseller, I decided to investigate for myself. I popped into a Coles (a once independent chain that was swallowed up several years back by the Chapters/Indigo book cartel) in Kitchener, Ontario on the weekend and (shocking!) not a single copy in stock. So, imagine if you will my chagrin: not only is Liberal Fascism not given a prominent eye-level home in the store as NYT bestsellers typically recieve. Not only do left-leaning tomes that have been nowhere near the top of the NYT list for months (if ever) such as Clinton, Colbert and Naomi Klein’s latest efforts meet you bang in the face when you enter the store instead (these things, of course, were expected), but they did not have even a SINGLE copy in stock, nor do they intend on ordering any. If I want a copy, the young woman at the desk informed me, I would have to drive across town to Chapters or order a copy myself (and pre-pay for it!!!). ’So let me get this straight…’ I put to her ‘A # 1 NYT bestseller and I have to drive across town or order a copy?’ ’That’s correct sir…’ was her terse and disdainful retort. Absurd? Yes. Unimaginably transparent, narrow-minded and fatuous? Certainly.
Me: Meanwhile, reports that various chains are starting to actually carry and/or display the book are mounting, which is good news. It’s hard to know how many sales I lost because stores failed to position it adequately during the height of the media tour, but it’s hard to shed any tears about it, I know.