Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pick up a Penguin

According to a big piece in The Times about the relaunch of the Penguin Classics range, divided into categories like The Best Crimes and The Best Lovers, the competition to get people to read a classic book rather than a new publication is intense. Of course there are going to be arguments about what is not on the list but my problem is with the categories. It turns books into a video shop experience and my fear is that people who like crime or romance will stick to a very limited selection.
In the end no doubt Penguin won't care too much about that sort of hair splitting as long as the books are sold in large numbers but I am wary of labelling works into a niche it because it could be a case of cutting off readers from wider experiences.

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