Saturday, February 21, 2009

I fear it is true ...

... Literary Death Spiral? The Fading Book Section. (Hat tip, Dave Lull. who is as much a partner in this blog as anyone ever will be. )

The conventional wisdom is that book sections are dying because newspapers are. No, newspapers are dying in large part because they are killing off their book sections. Because the people managing newsrooms are uncultured louts, who think that that everybody else is interested in the same boring shit they are. Sorry, the rest of us have lives.


  1. Anonymous6:41 PM

    At the newspapers I worked at, the book reviewer had a bookcase where so many books came in, they could be given away for free. Ask for one you liked, and he'd be happy to give it to you so he didn't have to schelp them to the bookcloset.

    Free books! New books! Books that haven't been published yet! By real publishers!

    Yet, at both newspapers, I never had any competition for those books. A newsroom full of writers and (supposedly) readers, yet no one was interested in them.

  2. I gave away galleys as they shelf date passed. Had them in bins outside the book office. Whenever the bins were refreshed (at the beginning of each month) employees would swoop down on them - mostly, though, people from advertising, circulation, etc. Many people in the newsroom never looked (on the other hand, The Inquirer had a good many passionate readers among its staff - especially on the copy desks).