Monday, August 4, 2008

Get Your Book Reviews (Online)

With the recent demise of  the L.A. Times's book review, and many other dedicated book review sections in newspapers of note (in fact, all are gone but those from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle), someone has to attempt to answer the question, "Will Blogs Save Books?"  (I never have cause to link to the Huffington.  Fun.)


Matt Bell said...

Luckily, between the blogs and the dedicated book review sites--such as The Short Review, and Rain Taxi, and NewPages (where, full disclosure, I'm the book review editor)--there are plenty of places to get your book reviews, especially those of independent or small press books. Also, I presume the LA Times will continue their excellent coverage online, both at the main books site and their own excellent blog (for proof of how good it is, check out their recent coverage of Denis Johnson's serial novel in Playboy). Their print space may be diminished, but I expect their work to continue online, which is where most of us read the LATBR anyway. Book reviews are far from dead, and online reviews are capable of eventually reaching a larger and larger audience, so beyond my sympathy for those who have lost their jobs to these shrinking sections, I don't see an overwhelming cause for concern or alarm.

Anonymous said...

WR: Did you miss this? And their blog is not bad on similar subjects. FYI.

Anonymous said...

My worry, though, is that there is a rather large demographic still that doesn't read on-line and, therefore, wouldn't check out the book review. Also: the book review in a print version of a newspaper is more likely to be serendipitiously read by a person who may infrequently buy books, thereby increasing a book's sales; on the web, you pretty much need to know where to look to find the book review. I think it's great that there are so many venues on the Internet for book reviews, but I'm sad at its demise in print, and I'm actually not convinced that the sales a print review generates will be replaced by reviews on-line. I don't have any proof of that; I just know from my past books that print reviews generate a lot more attention than almost anything that's done on-line.