It may be trite to say it at this point, and it may be a bit more complicated than this in the end, but the French have a very different relationship to books and literary culture than Americans do. France has, for example, a long and continuing history of television shows devoted to discussing philosophical texts (whereas the philosopher-king of American television may be, God help us, Ryan Seacrest).
And have you seen this?
American toilet tissue manufacturers usually go with cartoon bears or treacly angels to sell their wares. But one French company has released this ad poking fun at technophiles’—old-fashioned!—anti-paper condescension (and at obnoxious, mansplaining husbands). In the process, amusingly enough, the ad makes a larger argument for the continued usefulness of paper both in and out of the bathroom.