Maxine Clarke has a long and interesting post about Literary culture. Money quote:
... in a culture dominated by instant, digestible media, I am constantly impressed by the variety of reading and thinking done by the people I encounter in daily life. Most of whom are completely unaware of literary prizes and the "scratch my back" nature (we are told) of book publishing. There is hope for us yet!
And by the way, the work that won this year's Booker Prize, John Banville's The Sea is a very good book and emimently readable.