The comfort of the crowd

I call it the empty restaurant syndrome. You're in a town new to you, looking around for somewhere 'nice' to dine. There's lots of choice but you don't want the one that's almost empty. You head for the one that's almost full. Success/popularity is comfortable, failure/unpopularity markedly uncomfortable in spite of the fact that you're going to get better service in the almost empty restaurant and the food is likely to be better because they're having to try harder and have more time and more of the tender loving care for the cooking of each dish.

It's the same with a pop concert or a football ground. So much better to see the 'sold out' sign. There's always great comfort in a crowd, isn't there?

And it is exactly that when it comes to another form of personal entertainment - the reading of fiction. If it says 'Bestseller' on its cover you feel more inclined to pick up the book, buy it and read it. If you've seen in a newspaper a good review, how much easier the buy and read decision. And if your friend has told you to read this - well, it's a done deal.

So read Going with Gabriel and/or More Deaths Than One and/or Twenty Bites! The more the merrier. I want folk to feel they're happy in my restaurant where there's a great big welcome and the service and the food is of the very best!

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