At this time of year there always seems to be a glut of films I want to see at the cinema. Apparently it is because we are leading up to the Oscars and these are the movies which are going to be in the most contention.

I'm having the same experience at the moment with new fiction - too much talented work being published and not enough time to appreciate it.

There are lists and lists of books we are being encouraged to read: the Costa prize winners, The TV Book Club, Richard and Judy, Waterstone's Debut 11 and Best Children's book, not to mention Open Book, A Good Read and various serialisations on Radio 4, and the World Book Night titles.

I like to keep up with all these recommendations, but the lists are now rather overwhelming. There's no hope of my reading through them all in addition to my own required and selected titles. I wish I could, though, because they genuinely look like interesting books, and I am still disappointed when a Browsers customer comments in shocked tones and wide eyes - 'what, you haven't read it? Oh, you must!' 

Are the lists also a symptom of the demise of the bookshop, with the ousting of the need for a bookseller prepared to give a personal recommendation? In our own independent bookshop, will customers be interested in my comments and recommendations when they have so many other sources for 'a good read'?