Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Editor of South London

I spend quite a lot of time in bookshops looking through the shelves and standing outside of bookshops looking in*. As a result of all this I've started to notice certain trends in book titles and cover designs.

The one that I've noticed recently is the strange new formula for naming moderately highbrow books (you know, the sort of books read by yoga instructors, english undergraduates, and book groups). The formula goes "The Something (can be an occupation or description, something whimsical is best) of Somewhere (preferably somewhere exotic)" and seems to be pretty much mandatory these days.

Examples --

The Bookseller of Kabul
The Enchantress of Florence
The Cellist of Sarajevo

Annoyingly my list ends there, because while I've seen shitheaps of books with these sort of titles I can only remember the ones that were in the front window of waterstones today. I tried, but I couldn't find any way of searching for books with 'The' and 'of' in the title. I'll add more, especially the more po faced and pretentious ones, when I see them


*There is a branch of waterstones with a big awning near where I eat my lunch, and it rains a lot.