SUPPOSE I went into my supermarket to buy a bottle of wine recommended by a widely publicised panel of wine-tasters and the manager said: 'Don't buy it, mate] I know it's on our shelves but it's dry, boring stuff with no sparkle. I don't think we'll ever shift it.' I'd think he was out of his mind and would soon be out of a job. Yet the big booksellers are doing just this, according to your front-page story last week.
Shortlisted Booker authors have run the gauntlet of publisher's readers, editors, accountants, critics and prize judges. Aren't they entitled to a little positive salesmanship from retailers?
It isn't as if the big booksellers have done much to acquire reputations for discrimination. Look at the stuff they do promote]