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Comment from the book world in May 2020

May 2020

'Gripping, compelling reads'

18 May 2020

‘It's difficult to envision what will appeal post-Covid19; however, the current trend for uplifting reads is bound to continue, with readers looking for distraction and escape from a fairly dire reality - warm humour, salvation, (stories of) unexpected success, happiness, or beating the odds release tension and provide solace...

A staple diet of Netflix thrillers should increase the appetite for more of the same but, perhaps most importantly, crime has always done well in darker times, perhaps because readers are able to take comfort in the fact that their own lives seem comparatively less bleak. A lot of people have mentioned that they are struggling to read at the moment, with so much going on in their minds and homes, and an overwhelming concern about health, finances and the future dominating. Gripping, compelling reads are most likely to help overcome this.'

Karen Sullivan, founder of Orenda Books, in the Bookseller

 

'We are going to have change'

11 May 2020

‘The last four or five years in publishing have been great. We're in mourning for them. But you can only dwell on that for a few moments before you say: the reading and the writing are still there. Original work will come out of this lockdown, just as it did out of austerity; it has shone a light on globalisation, and the inconveniences that we have, to a degree forgotten, like mortality...

We are going to have change, I feel sure this is a [permanently] changed environment. But my vocation as a publisher feels very central and important. Reading has had an exciting six weeks. It's breathing for some people. Now we just have to figure out the next bit.'

Stephen Page, CEO of Faber & Faber, in the Observer

 

Escaping the Lockdown

4 May 2020

‘It's that old cliché of getting lost in a book. You want something that you can get immersed in, that takes you out of what is an extremely difficult time or all of us - and a lot of classic novels do that... I think this period, if it's doing nothing else, is probably making reading a more central part of people's lives than before. Reading is always in one sense, a form of escape. It's escaping into a life which is not the life that you're actually having to live. That's why we do it.'

Penelope Lively, author of Booker Prize-winning Moon Tiger, Family Album and more than 38 other books for adults and children in the Observer