I love the talk generated by the annual book award. Books should be the subject of debate and news stories and, yes, why not, betting. Books matter.
For the first time last year the favourite won the Booker - Hiliary Mantel's Wolf Hall - and Graham Sharpe at William Hill bookmakers says they are worried the same thing could happen again with Tom McCarthy's novel C which is the "heaviest backed Booker book ever". It has been given shorter odds than the 2009 winner.
I haven't been able to check this out, but I am pretty sure Graham was the man who started this kind of betting in the first place because he reckoned that the publicity generated was the kind of advertising that money couldn't buy... (met him years ago when my husband was at The Sporting Life)
I admit I haven't yet read any of the shortlist this year but I love Peter Carey's writing and I'd be delighted for him to win for the third time, but Emma Donohue's Room is definitely on my to-read list.
The winner will be announced tonight at the Guildhall in London, with the successful author collecting a £50,000 prize.