Today marks the tenth anniversary of World Book Day and you know that the pr machine is in full swing when you wake up to hear the top ten books as voted for by the public being discussed on http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/.Most of the top selections were classics but the whole concept of a list of 'essential books' was criticised by John Sutherland, professor of English at UCL, who said there was a lack of poetry, science and history included.
The top ten are as follows:
1) Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen 20%
2) Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkein 17%
3) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte 14%
4) Harry Potter books – J K Rowling 12%
5) To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee 9.5%
6) The Bible 9%
7) Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte 8.5%
8) 1984 – George Orwell 6%
= His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman 6%
10) Great Expectations – Charles Dickens .55%
Speaking on the Radio Philip Pullman made the point that even if you disagree with the list at least books are being spoken about which means that the people behind World Book Day have at least succeeded in raising the profile.