Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Friday, January 23, 2009

the end of book reviews?

By which I mean not the reviewing of books but the kind of newspaper section called a book review, as in the New York Times Book Review or the Washington Post Book World, which may be closing down. I am not sure how much to be worried about this. For much of their history newspapers have not reviewed books at all — going back to the eighteenth century and through almost all of the nineteenth, book reviewing was largely the province of other kinds of periodicals — and few newspapers have ever had whole sections devoted to book reviews. Are we about to see considerably fewer book reviews altogether? Or are we just faced with a kind of dispersal of book reviewing into more and more varied locations? UPDATE: See Alex Massie's post on this subject from 2007.