A Random Thought

August 30th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Like the rest of our thoughts are so well-planned. For weeks now, we have been titillated with stories about the Booker Prize. Judges have written about their experience (for those who missed the articles, we’ll summarize: you read a lot of books) and oddsmakers have done whatever analysis oddsmakers do, resulting in predictions of winners. It’s all very glamorous and exciting. We want to be part of this glittering world.

The stories are such that even mainstream American media have taken (brief) note. That is to say, information has popped up in the odd publication. It makes us wonder how UK prizes can generate the feverish thrills of the Oscars®, while we are barely aware of major literary prizes awarded in the United States. That is to say, we are aware because we seek information, but if you asked the average person (by, oh, approaching him or her on the street), not a single award could be named. We suspect the British public would at least be able to choke out something like “Booker” or “Orange.”

Maybe it’s because book awards don’t make for good television? We can’t imagine that’s the case, but will concede it’s a bit tougher to show a pithy clip from a book. There would be a lot of “A long time ago in a galaxy far away” type graphics. Perhaps not the best for the cameras. Reading will be undervalued in our society as long as it remains obscure, at least from an awards perspective. And with that, we conclude our latest thought. We’ll probably have another later, so stay tuned.

File Under: Square Pegs