Leading women unite to launch #ThisBookClub
The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction have asked six 'inspirational women' to reveal the novels they most want to share - and their suggestions are supposed to 'inspire book lovers across the nation to get together to talk about books.' The celebrities we've to be inspired by: Janet Ellis and her singer daughter; Emily Blunt and her sister; Mary Portas and her wife.
Hmm! Who has been inspiring book groups until now? Who are the readers who have been organising, participating, enjoying book groups since reading became a leisure pursuit? Thousands of book groups meet monthly - in homes, libraries, cafes, pubs. They have their own organisation and peculiarities and they are brought together, and inspired by, a common love - reading! The members need no inspirational or 'leading' women to tell them what to read. They do it all on their own - without the help of any celebrity - amazing!
I apologise if I sound cross - I am! It is more than a little patronising. The campaign is even offering a book club guide:The Brilliant Woman's Guide to a Very Modern Book Club. Well, all you book group readers out there - now you can find out how to do it right!
Book groups have existed since Georgian times when women of leisure discussed their reads. Today they exist in almost every community - even prisons! But until celebrities get involved, I guess, we've all been doing it wrong.