Over the last couple of years, due to the deteriorating economy and a lack of advertising revenue, many of the nation’s major newspapers have dropped their book review sections. We have all watched this with great sadness (much as we watched the closing of so many independent bookstores over the past fifteen years) as the fewer book reviews consumers can read, the less they will be inclined to search out new and interesting authors and their work.
So, I was absolutely thrilled yesterday when I opened the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal to see their new Book Section. Not only are there lots of interesting and well written reviews, but there are also articles about bestselling authors (Jeff Trachtenberg, for example, writes about Philip Roth) and pieces about subjects like writers’ retreats and how blogging has influenced the economy. There is even an op-ed (sort of) on the Kindle and its effectiveness and another on writing.
All of this is very exciting and I can only hope that this new section will be hugely successful so as to encourage other major market newspapers to rethink their decisions to eliminate their book reviews.
What do you think?