OPINION - The Leader podcast: London’s underground book club

·1-min read
London’s underground book club (Getty Images)
London’s underground book club (Getty Images)

Books sales are booming, as commuters take a break from doomscrolling to get immersed in paperback and digital pages - with the notifications all turned off to concentrate.

It comes as WH Smith says the global travel market boosted sales at railway stations and airports, which have enjoyed an increase of nearly 130 per cent.

In 2021, the UK saw the highest book sales in a decade as readers devoured crime, sci-fi and romantic fiction. So, out of interest, what are Britain’s best-selling books of all time, shifting titles in the millions?

All but three of them are J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, two are Dan Brown and number five is Fifty Shades of Grey.

Last year, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman topped the list, followed by Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse.

But if you really want to dive into the commuter vortex, how about Clare Pooley’s novel Iona Iversen’s Rules for Commuting - all about a group of strangers on the Tube who become entwined in each others’ lives.

To find out more about the lure of the great mental escape from the Central Line and how to encourage even more people to pick up a new - or very old - edition, The Leader’s joined by Lucy Starbuck Braidley, senior programme manager for libraries at the National Literacy Trust.

We discuss why adult role models are crucial for children literacy, the phenomenon of ‘BookTok’ influencers on TikTok and how 10 minutes reading a day can boost your mental health.

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