Leading article: Brief lives

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The Independent Online

Is a publishing era coming to an end? As we report today, the bottom appears to have fallen out of the celebrity memoir market. Autumn sales are down. And some bookshops are even reportedly planning to boycott Katie Price's fourth autobiography in five years.

Many will not mourn the passing of these tomes. But let us not forget the gifts this genre has bestowed upon us. Without celebrity memoirs we would never have learned about Justin Lee Collins' time working in the menswear department of Marks & Spencer. How much poorer would we all have been if we had never heard about Lorraine Kelly's first car phone?

And we will surely miss the inventive titles: One Flew into the Cuckoo's Egg (Bill Oddie), Trowel and Error (Alan Titchmarsh), Ooh! What a Lovely Pair (Ant and Dec). Yes, the celebrity memoir might be on the way out, but let no one doubt its lasting contribution to the great canon of English literature.