Thursday, January 29, 2009

RIP: Book World

Now that it's confirmed, the lit blogosphere is discussing the implications of the loss of Book World, the Washington Post's stand-alone book review section. I may be missing a small publication somewhere, but I think this leaves us with the New York Times Book Review as the only remaining stand-alone book review section associated with a major newspaper.

Literary Saloon, a lit blog associated with an online book review journal (the complete review) recognizes the irony associated with its love of paper:

Maybe it's a generational thing -- though we rarely think of ourselves as that old -- but, man, do we miss paper coverage. Sure, all our own coverage is online, but the sources of literary coverage that we like dealing with most are those that come in printed form, which we find much easier to deal with, read, and turn back to. (Yes, online has many advantages -- such as the huge archives instantly at one's disposal, and search capability (for specific phrases, etc.) -- but day in, day out we much prefer to receive the information in printed form.)
Terry Teachout takes the opposite view at About Last Night:

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: it is the destiny of serious arts journalism to migrate to the Web. This includes newspaper arts journalism. Most younger readers -- as well as a considerable number of older ones, myself among them -- have already made that leap. Why tear your hair because the Washington Post has decided to bow to the inevitable.

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