Various booksellers have launched their Christmas advertising campaigns this week – summarised here by The Bookseller – with Waterstones, Foyles and Blackwells focussing on “simple” messages about the merit of books as gifts. I particularly like this advert from Foyles, as books are compared with another typical Christmas present.
Last year I expressed my thoughts on the Christmas book buying extravaganza – mainly the fact that I get a bit frustrated by bestseller lists being dominated by authors who aren’t really authors. Celebrity autobiographies, children’s books written by stand up comedians, cookbooks, fiction novels…. But, as the above campaign highlights, and as I said last year, if the gift of a book encourages someone to read (someone who perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise picked up a book), then really, perhaps it doesn’t matter who wrote it.
What do you think? Will you be buying (or hoping to receive) the latest celebrity autobiography this year?
“A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel, for example, do not read much other fiction. By contrast, the audience for an obscure novel is largely composed of people who read a lot. That means the least popular books are judged by people who have the highest standards, while the most popular are judged by people who literally do not know any better. An American who read just one book this year was disproportionately likely to have read ‘The Lost Symbol’, by Dan Brown. He almost certainly liked it.”