Give me an A... for Austen
I came across this article from March by the Daily Telegraph about how 1 in 5 people cannot name a single author of literature, as well as literature in general being too difficult to understand. This makes me sad that this survey highlights how the literary influencers (and the greats) are kind of forgotten. Thankfully Shakespeare and Dickens were mentioned, but where was Austen or Hardy? Not to mention Plath or Steinbeck.
Today's society, which is based so much on instant gratification, means that the need to take time out to read a book, to be absorbed by the story and invest in the characters' outcomes is something that is lost because of the millions of other things we must try to achieve in our days. We're not saying the internet is evil - we wouldn't be writing this blog or selling our books online if we did - but I think that we hope that through Bijou Books, we can give people the chance to find that time, those small moments where you can become part of another world or time.
My favourite author is Charles Dickens, closely followed by Jane Austen. Standard favourites of millions of people across the world, but I love their differences in style and views on the world. They lived two historical periods apart - Georgian and Victorian - when the quaintness of genteel Georgian living is taken over by the industrial revolution of the Victorians. However, if you pass me a book written by Margaret Atwood, I will readily devour it and want another. The Handmaid's Tale is so different to my usual style of book, but since studying it at A-Level, it truly is a book that challenges perception and the possibilities of a different world to live in.
So we call on all bookworms, to consider how we can try and change this lack of awareness as there has to be a way that we can continue to share our favourite authors with those that might be missing out. So that the next time the Daily Telegraph does this type of research, it is 1 in 500 people.