Monday, 22 December 2008


Literary reading trends have evidently altered from kiss and tell to abuse and sell.

Six months ago, you would come across maybe six such titles on bookstore’s shelves. Today in my local high street newsagent (W.H.Smiths) there is an entire five shelf section entitled Tragic Life Stories with titles such as “Please daddy, no!’ flaunting book covers clearly depicting ill-treated and presumably sexually abused young children.

Whom, I muse, are these publications pandering to? Paediatricians and students of criminal psychology? Or the same class who entertain a gratification from hearing the explicit details of a personal tragedy on shows such as Jeremy Kyle’s.

Firstly we had trash TV to entertain the masses who couldn’t read, now we have wordsmiths to entertain those who have learned.

I wake up some days and feel like moving to Alabama where recreational activities include spitting, line dancing and eating pie. Life just seems so much simpler over there.

Express & Echo, Exeter

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