Barnes and Noble map of book sales shows polarized readers across US


Source: Barnes & Noble

Sales of political books have grown immensely in 2018.

But not all books about President Donald Trump are equally valued across the United States, and readers’ preferences appear to offer yet another example of how regionally polarized Americans have become on politics.

Data released Tuesday by bookseller Barnes & Noble show a 57 percent boost in political book sales from a year earlier.

The top three sellers so far in 2018 are widely viewed as taking a more negative look at Trump and his White House. They include former FBI Director James Comey’s memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” and the hotly debated tell-all “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff.

The number-one bestseller, “Fear: Trump in the White House” by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, sold more than one copy per second on its release day, Barnes & Noble said. It was the fastest-selling book, overall, for Barnes and Noble in over three years.

But with a few exceptions, states that voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election tended to also favor the books that cast him in a friendlier light. Likewise, the states that voted for Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, bought more of the books that were unflattering to the president.

Among books that viewed Trump more positively, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett’s “The Russia Hoax,” which lays out a case against special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, came in at number four overall.

Not every title was fixated on the Trump administration. The late Sen. John McCain’s book “The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations,” also clinched a spot on the top 10 list for 2018.

The surge in political book-buying hasn’t necessarily helped Barnes & Noble, however. The chain has experienced big declines in revenue and same-store sales as it pursues a turnaround.

Last week, the company said it was naming a special committee to review bids to buy the company. The announcement followed expressions of interest from multiple parties, including Chairman Leonard Riggio, according to Barnes & Noble.

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