Written by Literature

Free Books with The Times

The Times seems to love giving away free books at the moment. They’ve been running a promotion with their sister company HarperCollins whereby you can pick up a different book each week for 99p when you buy The Times in WH Smith. This is nothing new, as they’ve run this promotion a couple of times before – and I’ve made full use of it.
This week they’re also packaging a couple of books free with the paper. Today they had The Discovery of Chocolate, the first novel by James Runcie. The curious thing is that Runcie’s forthcoming novel, Canvey Island, out next month, is published by rival publisher Bloomsbury. It seems surprising that News Group would want to give a promotional push to an author who’s now signed to a rival. Surely there are plenty of authors in house who could do with the push?
Anyhow, The Times’ 99p book this week is Giotto’s Hand by Iain Pears which looks interesting, and they’re packaging another free book with Thursday’s paper – The Queen of Subtleties by Suzannah Dunn – although the Amazon reviews aren’t exactly encouraging.
It’s all another weapon in the armoury of keeping your newspaper’s ABC numbers up high. Witness The Guardian’s DVD of the 1934 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much at the weekend (Hitchcock’s own 1956 remake is somewhat better). The Independent has recently taught us French, Spanish and Italian, so I look forward to getting Russian lessons over a forthcoming weekend.