October 24th, 2013
Episode 438 of 1219 episodes
Matthew Sweet leads an elite party of literary explorers - Linda Grant, Aminatta Forna, Naomi Alderman and Tim Stanley on an expedition to find "the common reader" -- being stalked by Woolf in the 20th Century and by Johnson in the 18th. Both believed that the common reader "uncorrupted with literary prejudices" was the final arbiter of "poetical honours" so it's a quest that's clearly still relevant today. The question is what does a common reader look like in our digital age? What are they reading? Where? And how?