If you walk into a bookshop anywhere in the UK in the next few weeks, the chances are very high that it will be a Waterstones, because WHSmiths isn't really a bookshop and most other bookshops seem to have been ground down and out of existence by supermarket discounting, public ignorance and publishers' lack of foresight.
And if you do find yourself in a Waterstones sometime soon, the chances are high that you will see something called the Laureate's Table. This is where all the poet laureates throughout history have had their last meal, before being executed by one of the Queen's angry swans.
No it isn't. I lied.
The Laureate's Table is in fact a selection of books chosen by the Children's Laureates as their favourite children's books of all time, ever, and, like, throughout history and beyond. You can read all about their selections here.
These books are going to be heavily promoted and discounted by Waterstones and will probably sell billions and billions of copies per second until all the paper in the world is sucked up into a swirling vortex of chaos.
I once worked in the children's books industry. Oh wait, apparently I still do. I'm a children's author, dontcha know. (For now, anyway.) So here are a few words from me on the Children's Laureates' selections...
How old are these people? 95? 142? Almost every book they've chosen was published while the Spanish Armada was still the main threat to the British way of life.
Are these people not meant to be promoting Children's books and getting kids excited about reading? If you haven't yet looked at the list of titles they chose, how many of the 35 books do you think were published this century?
The answer is two.
All of Michael Morpurgo's choices were published before 1945. (Do you think someone should tell him we won the war?)
All of Jacqueline Wilson's choices were published before 1937.
Did they all get together and collectively decide that there was absolutely no point including any books that any real kids would have any interest in reading? Do they really have no inclination to recommend any work that's still in copyright, or perhaps something written by an author who's still alive? How about using their vast experience and knowledge to pick out some books by current authors that haven't otherwise been highlighted by promotions?
I suspect the truth is that they don't really know what great books are out there now. They're not children, so I have no problem with them not reading children's books.
Oh, wait, maybe I do. They are Children's Laureates. They have been given a great big stonking platform from which to promote children's books and the cause of reading.
On that platform they have put the likes of Little Women and Five Go to Smuggler's Top.