On Friday, I was at the Barnes & Noble on California Avenue and I saw four copies of "Mein Kampf." I cannot remember going into a book store and seeing a copy of "Mein Kampf." I am assuming Bakersfield Barnes & Noble carries books in its market region that are sellers. I called every Barnes & Noble, south and north of Bakersfield, from Studio City, Santa Clarita, Fresno, Merced, Modesto, Stockton and finally Sacramento, which has two Barnes & Noble stores. Only the large metropolitan city of Sacramento had two copies in each of its stores for a total of four. So the Barnes & Noble of Bakersfield, with a population of 380,000 and four copies of "Mein Kampf," is the only city in all of the Central Valley to carry it.
What if this is reflecting a national paradigm shift in our national values because Bakersfield is often used as a national test market for products by corporations. Here's is one example:
"Bakersfield is often selected as a test market for national restaurant and retail chains because of its attractive size — small but not too small, its limited ...Bakersfield has diverse racial and economic demographics, as well; the increasingly important Hispanic market is well represented here..." ("Stakes high in McDonald's latest Kern test market trial," July 2015).
But I don't want people to blame Barnes & Noble. It's just efficient retail stocking algorithms computing supply and demand. But maybe the market is speaking to us?
Francisco Martinez, Bakersfield