But something interesting is happening in the U.K. where there is a huge sectional difference in how the Richard and Judy choices are perceived. According to the Times Online, those in the north could not care less what Richard and Judy recommend, while those in the south pay strict attention and read as instructed by the pair.
Lending figures for last year suggest that southerners are slaves to Richard & Judy, flocking to their local library to borrow everything they mention. The couple’s recommended titles make up at least half of the ten most-borrowed books in London, the South East, the South West, the East, the East Midlands and the South West....
Northerners, by contrast, pay no attention to them. None of the couple’s recommendations appears in the top ten lists for the North East, the North West and Merseyside, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. Readers were much more likely to plump for tried-and-tested books in the crime and romance genres. James Patterson’s hard-boiled thrillers are overwhelmingly popular in the North. Readers in the North East are most likely to select a pulse-quickening romance by Danielle Steel or Josephine Cox.
The reason for the divide is open to speculation, but authors suggested that word-of-mouth recommendations for Richard & Judy books were more likely to become epidemics in the South, where book discussion groups are more popular.Just when I was ready to congratulate those in the northern part of the U.K. on their ability to choose for themselves, I got to the part of the Times article that mentioned the most popular writers up that way: James Patterson, Danielle Steel and Josephine Cox.
Obviously, those up north would be much better off letting Richard, Judy and Oprah do the choosing on their behalf.