Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Narrowing our options

Like most of you (I presume) I've been watching the book review campaign over at the National Book Critics Circle blog. And I'm sad that I can't be in Atlanta for the protest tomorrow.

I have been thinking about the demise of newspapers in general and how I'm part of the problem. There was a time I wouldn't miss a Sunday paper. But I haven't bought a Sunday paper regularly in years. If it isn't online, I don't read it. So the book section in my own city's paper (if it's still published as a section - really just two pages) is a non-issue for me.

I usually get reviews from the bigger newspapers - LATimes, Washington Post and the NYTimes. Occasionally I read online reviews, but more often I find a recommendation for an author on a web site or blog and follow through on that.

Over the years, particularly in the past two cities I've lived in, I've sometimes enjoyed the book section, but on most weekends, the editor is not including reviews of books that I'm looking for. Or the review is done in a round-up, which isn't very helpful at all.

So I take my chances with blogs, the library and the book jacket.

If you are not able to make it to the protest tomorrow, spend some time thinking about all the places where you read reviews. If it's important to you - online, in print or broadcast, I'd suggest you let that outlet/individual know, before they take away the reviews.

And if you have some thoughts on this, let me know. I'd be interested in publishing a few here.

Here are few links about the controversy.
NYTimes article today (lots of posts on the book review issues)

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