First Tuesday Book Club

Why do they sit in a library of empty, colour-coded books? I’ve never liked it, but even if they had insisted on starting out that way they could have, by now, have quite a collection of books they’ve discussed. Why can’t we at least see them?

This might seem petulant but it is a serious complaint: a room full of books says something about the person sitting in it. That’s one of the reasons we collect them, so that visitors can see the kind of person we are. The resident readers on The Book Show are non people, the books they’ve read don’t stick to them. Last week several purple ones, behind Jennifer Byrne, were even damaged, like they’d fallen off the shelf and somebody had picked them up and thought, who cares.

There’s too many of them anyway. The people, I mean. With five people, two of whom are celebrities who need their egos massaged, there’s not enough time or space for any sort of sensible debate. Get rid of the guests, give Mariecke and Jason a go.

And while you’re at it get rid of those awful dramatised bits where the plot is revealed. They do nothing for the books and less for the show.

If you do all these things you might actually be able to talk about more than two books a month. The show might become interesting. It might even become a force in the literary world.

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