Why we can have a butcher’s at books but not at meat products

A shot from Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine, soon to be shown on ITV1 as part of that channel's Crime and Punishment series

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I was doing some browsing in shops at the weekend and something struck me .

It’s okay to browse for ages in a bookshop.

But if you’re in a butcher’s shop, you can’t browse for more than about a minute, can you?

In a bookshop you can inspect book after book and the assistant won’t bat an eyelid.

But if you ask to look at more than one joint of meat or pork chop in a butcher’s, they’ll think you’re weird

And I was wondering, why are we so afraid to ask for a look at all the products a butcher sells?

And then I realised, it’s basically because they have all those sharp knives and cleavers behind the counter.

That’s why, isn’t it?

While I was in the aforementioned bookshop, I noticed three diet books on sale and they were all about this ‘5-2’ diet that’s really fashionable now.

If you’ve not heard of it, it’s the diet where you eat normally for five days of the week, but then you’re really strict with yourself on the other two days and you have tiny, tiny bits of food.

Now, the thing that astounded me was not the fact there were three books written about this diet, but the fact there were any at all.

How do they stretch that concept into a big fat book?

You could explain it in a thin leaflet. There’s an irony!

This is for anyone who has been watching Claudia Winkleman hosting The Great British Sewing Bee on Tuesday nights on BBC2.

Can you think of anything about this show that isn’t almost exactly the same as The Great British Bake Off? Because, basically, they just replaced the word ‘cakes’ with ‘dresses’ through the commentary, didn’t they?

I’m waiting for the combination ‘Bake Off Sewing’ show where they have to design dresses made out of éclairs or something.