At NPR, Dick Meyer weighs in on the ongoing demise of the newspaper book review section–responding to the news that the Washington Post will no longer publish its stand-alone Book World. Meyer calls the trend “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.” Are we in a literary death spiral? I don’t think so, but some of benefits of the printed book review edited for the general reader will be missed.
A strong conclusion from his story: “The collapse of professional reviewing is just part of a cultural devaluing of books and even formally written words.”