Pandering to the ignorant and indifferent

Barnes & Noble has asked me to direct your attention at their page called "Review" and in particular at the "fivebooks" section which in this edition features links to catalog entries for five (essential?) Civil War titles.

Like the late Jean Shepherd, I hate lists and I long to punish listmakers the way he did, so let us not go down the road of making the list "better" by choosing alternate titles.

Let us instead ask, why would a publisher/bookseller with deep inventory use his "fivebooks" space this way? Why would "fivebooks" be themed ACW and then pitched at the non-ACW reader as a starter kit?

Why would you pander to the ignoramus when you could pander to the proven book-buyer, the devotee? You know, there might even be a business model in that...

Most publishers approach this field backwards; witness the success of publisher Savas Beatie (publishing for appreciators) versus competitors who are forever blowing budgets chasing a readership uninterested in the ACW.

We see the same attitude in Gettysburg's park administration: to hell with the buff, our budget is devoted to the utterly disinterested random stopover.

What on earth can be driving the sale of an unending series of starter kits to a public that does not care?