Commentary on NPR
Literary Death Spiral? The Fading Book Section
One of the sad, little sidebars to the sad, big saga of the waning of American newspapers is the disappearance of professional, edited book sections.
One of the last two major, stand-alone print book sections died this past Sunday, when The Washington Post published its last edition of Book World. The paper will still review books, but only The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle will continue to run a full mini-magazine devoted to books. It is a heavy symbolic blow to readers, writers and publishers. And it is an injury to our collective literacy and, thus, to our wisdom and intellectual agility.