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Friday, February 23, 2007

Los Angeles Times Book Section to get a Makeover

LA Observed, one of my favorite blogs, has this unfortunate news: The Los Angeles Book Review section may be folded into a new tabloid-size opinion/criticism insert that would be put in the SATURDAY newspaper.

I can understand the stand-alone section, even though this one has a bizarre twist: it would be 2-sided. That means you could read the book review and then flip the section over and turn it upside down to read the commentary section. (And won't that peculiar format drive off some readers?)

But Saturday papers have a lower readership that the mega-Sunday papers that people tend to linger over.

Book sections just don’t make money .. I guess. The LA Times Book Review is an excellent section, one of the best in the country, and I fear for its future. The Chronicle had to downsize its review section last year and has tried to make up for it by running more weekly reviews in the daily paper. The same number of books may get reviewed but the skimpiness of the Sunday section always seems to announce to me that books are not a priority in our culture.

And they say that the Los Angeles Basin has the most readers and book buyers in the nation.

1 comment:

Daniel Olivas said...

This is very upsetting! You're correct that people linger over the Sunday section and that it has a higher circulation, too. The Times' TV guide was moved to the Saturday edition a short while ago, I assume for the same reasons. As a book critic for the El Paso Times, I know that writers and publishers are happy when I give a good review that appears in the Sunday book section...and shouldn't we want to reach as many people as possible regarding good reads?