If word of mouth kicked The Da Vinci Code into nine weeks at number one, why not try using the same trick for works such as Franz Kafka's unquestionable classic The Trial - currently in 446,000th place on Amazon.co.uk?
This logic is being pressed close to its wildest conclusion by the organisers of World Book Day. Yesterday they announced that they were distributing 8m postcards which would enable one in seven people in the British population to recommend a book to a friend, or enemy.
What an interesting idea. From now until March 3, World Book Day, Brits will open magazines and see these little postcards flutter out. How many people, I wonder, will actually dash off a note to a friend and recommend a good book?
The organisers, whose mission is to raise the profile of reading and book buying and borrowing, call this harnessing the power of recommendation, and are focusing it on a single day. "Over 90% of leisure purchases, films, music, books, are influenced by word of mouth, and this seems to be truest of all for books," they said.
I found it odd that the article didn't mention who is behind this movement. I'd look it up for you, but I'm still sick, and this is the best I can do for a post today. If anyone knows more about this, please leave a comment.
And while you're at it, maybe you'd like to recommend a good book or two.