Today's the day the 2008 Booker longlist is announced. For me it's kind of like the starting flag - how many titles can I get read before the final winner is announced? I managed most of last year's longlist, barring a couple that were in hardback and just too expensive to splash out on. (Those gaps will be filled soon.)
It's fun because you know a whole lot of other people are reading alongside you and opinions are being debated ... you become part of the literary conversation. And no matter what the chosen books are, whether they actually are the "best" books or not, that debate about what makes a novel succeed is fascinating. (For me, anyway. Sorry guys, I can see your eyes glazing over on the other side of this computer screen!)
And of course, there's the excitement of having a little flutter on the horse or horses of your choice.
Eric has a wonderful list of novels he reckons are contenders. I know my reading for the next few months is going to be guided by whatever is decided today.
(BTW, let's give a wave to our friend Louise Doughty who is one of this year's judges.)