Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Are Books the New Rock'n'Roll?

by Anna Jones Buttimore

I went on one of my regular trips to London yesterday. As I stepped off the train at Liverpool Street Station I was struck by how many of the advertising posters were for books - the eagerly awaited new novel from Cecelia Aherne, an exciting new Ian Rankin story, the latest Marian Keyes, and a whole host of others. I'm sure last time I was there the posters were all for West End shows.

Once I got out of the tube station at Tottenham Court Road there was another suprise. Bookshops everywhere. The usual suspects, like Waterstones, but so many more, all big, open-plan, smart and luxurious stores with elegant window displays. I don't remember Soho being famous for its bookstores.

Then there was the radio. Simon Mayo, who presents the drivetime show on Radio 2, now has a book club and has authors featured regularly talking with his listeners - their readers - about their work. And if that wasn't enough, Chris Evans, the breakfast show host, had an interview with a well known author (including Jaqueline Wilson) every day over the last week.

What's going on? When did books become the latest craze? Is it because of the recession - people can no longer afford to go out clubbing or go to concerts, so they are popping down to the library instead?

Whatever the reason, books seem to be enjoying a surge in popularity, and I applaud that. And not just because, if books are the new rock'n'roll, then as a writer I'm now as cool as the lead guitarist in a rock band.


Cheri J. Crane said...

Way cool trend. =) And you're right, you are as cool as a lead guitarist in a rock band. You go girl!

Jennie said...

As Cheri said, You rock, Anna. I love your post, just reading the place names you take for granted, gave me a little thrill.