Various strands have been floating through the atmosphere of late and consequently through my alleged mind.
The LA Times recently shut down its book review section moving content and three of its now former five book review editors to a features page. I pray the NYTimes Book Review isn’t next. Some weeks even that grande dame seems a page signature or two shy of permanent anorexia.
BookEnds Literary Agency’s July 16 discussion debated whether or not readers buy fiction in times of economic distress (file that bit of news under It was the worst of times to be a newbie novelist.) Posters to the literary blog The Elegant Variation bat back and forth the merits of leaving print media behind for the web.
So I throw it out to you, dear readers:
• How do you find your way to the books you enjoy reading? Friends’ recommendations? Book reviews? Browsing the shelves at the library? Amazon? Your local indy bookseller or big box?
• Have you changed your book buying habits of late?
• Given up on fiction for more practical books, such as those titled Your Money or Your Shirt — Surviving Today’s Financial Crises? (Although from where I sit, nothing is more practical than facing down the persistent wave of bad news with a terrific escape into someone else’s maelstrom. And I made up the title of that book.)
• The evisceration of book review sections — good for the muse or bad for the muse? If today’s (to wit yesterday’s) model is destined for the circular file, what model would you propose for the future?
• And last but by no means least — read any good books lately?
PS Tune in to BoomerCafe.com on Saturday, July 26. Remember those essays I promised you back in May? The ones that should have been published but weren’t? Promise now kept. Enjoy.