For years, the major print newspapers and magazines have been reducing or ending their book review sections. I have seen laments everywhere in the traditional print industry about this, blaming the internet for allegedly encouraging a culture of non-readers.
I had to read many dirges by traditionalist print writers about the imminent demise of good books because there would soon be no book reviews.
Book Review Sites Increasing In Number
Popular online magazine “Slate” now has a book review section. I believe more online news and commentary sites will do this. Websites dedicated entirely to book reviews are appearing all over the internet. In addition, sites like amazon.com encourage readers to post reviews.
Book Reviews Previously Restricted, Elitist
Far from being ignored, the internet has brought far more opportunities for books to be reviewed than they had in the past.
In the “old days,” say in 1990, if you couldn’t get your book reviewed in the Washington Post or the New York Times or some other large print newspaper or magazine, or in a famous literary magazine, your chances to sell many copies were minimal.
Print media reviewers could promote or destroy a book with one widely-read review. A famous book or movie reviewer had enormous and sometimes abusive powers, and was greatly feared by writers and other creative people.
Internet Has Increased The Number Of Book Reviewers
In the internet era, a book can garner many reviews and has a better chance of survival. An author can promote his or her book in numerous special interest niche websites that share views or common passions with the author’s book.
To quote the old Carly Simon song, “Anticipation,” “these are the good old days.”