Dear Mr Naughtie,
I do hope you and your fellow judges had a delightful time reading the novels entered for the 2009 Booker Prize. I have, regrettably for my pre-Booker reading, allowed myself to be distracted by a Great German Reading Tour this summer and so remain unacquainted with the majority of this year’s contenders. A further distraction in the form of the Edinburgh Book Festival will be taking up most of my reading time in the weeks between now and the shortlist announcement. I would, therefore, be very grateful if, when determining the longlist tomorrow, the 2009 Booker judging panel would accommodate my needs in the following way:
a) Include 3 that I have already read.
b) Supplement with two that aren’t released until September.
c) Add the following 5 that I will be reading in preparation for events at the Edinburgh Book Festival.
d) Bring the list to 13 by allocating to final 3 places from those that are already in my TBR.
There are a number of benefits to this approach. 1) I will not need to purchase any books for the next 2 months; 2) I will be able to contribute knowingly to the shortlist speculation of the coming weeks ; and, most importantly, 3) it will prove that your panel is the most considerate of the last 41 years!