London’s first crime writing festival Capital Crime has recently released new research which revealed that the British public is made to feel embarrassed of their book choices by the literary industry, who is perceived as being ‘snobby’. 36% of people have been made to feel embarrassed by their book choices with an alarming 38% of women saying they have been criticised for their book choices being too commercial or trashy. With higher literacy rates being linked to better mental and physical health, and increased prosperity and longevity, the results of this survey are a cause for concern.
As an author myself and a woman, I felt this research needed to be shared.
Brits made to feel embarrassed about their book choices by “snobby” literary industry
Capital Crime, the first international and inclusive crime and thriller in London, has today released new research which has revealed that avid readers in the UK, feel the literary industry is snobby and makes them feel bad for their “trashy” reading choices.
These results are particularly significant in light of the UK’s drive to increase its literacy rates. With higher literacy rates being linked to better mental and physical health, and increased prosperity and longevity, the results of this survey are cause for concern. People are being made to feel guilty for a hobby that is improving their education and mental health. Capital Crime believes no-one should be made to feel embarrassed or ashamed for reading. This was a driving force behind the festival.
Adam Hamdy, author, screenwriter and one of the organisers of the Capital Crime Festival, who conducted the research, explained: “These statistics were shocking. Reading is one of Britain’s most loved hobbies and the literary industry is making people feel bad for their book choices! It’s wrong. We at Capital Crime want to celebrate the joy of reading. Whatever you want to read. There should be no judgement or hierarchy in the type of books or authors you like reading. Just the act of reading is a joy. That’s what the Capital Crime Festival is all about. It is inclusive – for everyone who enjoys crime and thriller novels and pop-culture.”
David Headley, agent and bookseller and one of the organisers of Capital Crime, continued, “We believe everyone should enjoy reading without the fear of shame or judgement over their book choices. Whether it be by the Literary Industry – who are being perceived to only promote certain authors and shun commercial fiction. Or those unwelcome comments people make about your reading choice on your commute. We should all be doing everything we can to encourage people to read. We want people to use a book to switch off and become engrossed in another world – without being judged for their choice of title or author. Reading is not only relaxing but also has clear and scientifically proven benefits for people’s mental and physical health.”
This research comes ahead of the upcoming Capital Crime Festival which is due to take place this September 26th -28th at the Connaught Rooms in London. Capital Crime is a celebration of books, films and TV and the line-up is an unrivalled mix of world-class talent, rising stars and newcomers. Capital Crime is a must for fans of all things crime and thriller. Guests of the festival include Kate Atkinson, Robert Harris, David Baldacci, Ian Rankin, Ann Cleeves, Robert Glenister, Leye Adenle, Simon Mayo, Denise Mina, Anthony Horowitz, Abir Mukherjee and many other prestigious authors.
Other interesting findings from the Capital Crime survey include:
· 72% of people who read a few times a week believe there is snobbery in how the publishing industry picks and promotes certain books.
· 69% of people think that books that are shortlisted for lots of awards and are hyped by the publishing industry or media often disappoint.
· 47% of people rarely pick a book just because it has been shortlisted for an award.
· 60% of people think that literary festivals are a great way for authors and people from the industry to come together, but they’re not really aimed at the general reader.
· 74% of people contended that they would be more likely to go to a literary festival that prioritised making sure they were entertained and had fun.
· 88% of people think that literary festivals should include more commercial fiction authors in their programmes.
If you do attend the festival, you’ll be sure to find me somewhere about as I would be chatting with some of the guests for my podcast The Segilola Salami Show.