lizhand (lizhand) wrote in theinferior4,

NY Times on the death of paper book reviews

Today's NYT has an article on the death of  book review sections in major newspapers  —

The LA Times recently folded its section into their Style Magazine, and there's a petition makingn the rounds in an effort to save the Atlanta Journal-Constituion's book review.  The Times does a good job of summing up the rise of litblogs like & Galleycat & Bookslut, but makes no mention whatsoever of the Washington Post Book World, which recently revamped and now includes a children's book section aimed at younger readers (rather than at their parents & teachers) -- a savvy move, given that Harry Potter has turned children's & YA publishing into a growth industry.  Book World also continues to give ample coverage to new fiction by lesser-known writers, which the Times has cut back on considerably.  Obviously I'm biased — I've been writing for the Washington Post Book World for almost 20 years (so does my Inferior 4 teammate, Paul DiFilippo) — but it seems like an odd omission, to say the least. 

I also wasn't encouraged by Richard's Ford admission that he has never looked at a litblog.  An ideal literary world would include both online book reviews and their print counterparts — we can't have too many people reading, folks!  Litblogs like Beatrice and Bookslut aren't  the wave of the future, they're the wave of the present.  Any writer who ignores that fact does so at her/his peril.
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