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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Reading less of the TLS

I read this morning that Truman Capote, when in New York, would purchase the Times Literary Supplement at a downtown store and carry it to his apartment many blocks away with the cover showing. Perhaps I was wrong to conclude that sales of TLS had shrunk owing to misguided editorial policies and poorly-written content. Perhaps it is because we, its scathing readers, are no longer in droves providing it with free publicity by carrying it home from the store with its cover showing. I wonder…

Later that day…

I have a tentative new theory that might account for the miniscule circulation of the TLS. This afternoon in Brixton, wishing to revive the old custom, I bought a copy of the TLS with the intention of carrying it to my Spartan quarters with its cover showing, thus providing free exposure and celebrity endorsement to the ailing rag. The pedestrian route to Mayfair took me through some of the toughest estates in London, and in not one did the publication in my hand prompt the slightest flicker of recognition among the countless hundreds of loitering youths whom I passed. One shrinks from suggesting it, but could it be that the TLS has  lost touch with the kids in the street?

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