This is Barbara. She is talking about books.
HAVE you read any of the tongue-in-cheek Ladybird books for grown-ups? Mr F presented me with How it Works; The Husband, as a Christmas stocking filler. At the same time as I was chortling over the book, he was unwrapping How it Works: The Wife, from me.
Both were surprises: his bought on Amazon; mine at Waterstones in Uxbridge. I use Amazon a lot too, but also like to support our bookshops and occasionally the library.
It has just been reported that the popularity of the grown-up Ladybird series saw sales in bookshops go up over the festive season, with Foyles reporting a rise of five per cent.
Its head of buying said the blend of irony and nostalgia made these cheeky Penguins irresistible to customers and accounted for seven of its ten bestsellers last month (December). This is great news, as it bucks the previous trend in falling sales. Long Live Real Books!
The eight books for adults are written by comedy writers Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris who have written for shows such as That Mitchell and Webb Look and include titles like The Ladybird Book of Dating, The Ladybird Book of Sheds and The Ladybird Book of The Mid-life Crisis.
I looked over Mr F’s shoulder to see him reading: ‘This is a wife. She looks happy, doesn’t she? This is because she is on her second glass of wine.’
After the latest guidelines by the chief medical officer this might need to change. I’ve stocked up with non-alcoholic wine but Mr F and I are not signing the pledge just yet.
My favourite bit of the husband book is on page 16: ‘The husband finds some things very difficult. Being wrong is one of these things.’ Hmm..
It wasn’t only the text that made these books so successful when they came out for children in the 1940s. The colourful full page pictures, which Hazeley and Morris admit they have ‘mercilessly ribbed’ in the modern versions, are always on the right hand side and tell their own story. Remember folks, you can’t get them on a Kindle.
People have been kindly enquiring about Finding Tipperary Mary by Phyllis Whitsell, the book (published by Mirror books) in which I have been involved. It is due out on February 15, later than expected, because we changed publishers.
Every week BARBARA FISHER looks at issues that affect us all – the issues that get you talking. You can join in by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org