Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Los Angeles Times Book Review Section Is Folding

Publishers’ Weekly is reporting that the Los Angeles Times is laying off two book editors and ceasing to print its Sunday book review section. If I recall correctly, LA Times started a book reviewing blog and excluded romance but included mystery, science fiction and fantasy so my feeling toward this is total apathy.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

7 Comments

  1. Rebecca J
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 12:03:31

    As a confirmed bibliophile and believer in the newspaper, I think its a shame that another book section has ceased to exist at a major paper.

    It is a loss to the book and newspaper world. A real loss.

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  2. RfP
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 12:11:30

    LA Times started a book reviewing blog and excluded romance but included mystery, science fiction and fantasy so my feeling toward this is total apathy.

    I’m not apathetic. Like Rebecca J, I think it’s a loss to the book world as a whole–and a dangerous move for a newspaper, which depends on those who love to read.

    It’s a loss to romance as well. The LA Times has often been good about reviewing novels with strong romantic elements and general woman-oriented fiction. I’ve read a number of LAT recommendations that were literary romances and novels with romantic themes. Those are part of the genre too; a newspaper doesn’t have to review novels by specific romance publishers to be important to romance.

    Without a review section, there’s one less mass-media source for finding good romantic novels that are a little out of the ordinary.

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  3. Zoe Archer
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 13:54:19

    Ironic, given that they host a huge book festival each Spring here in Los Angeles.

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  4. veinglory
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 09:44:59

    I think it is largely a self-imposed loss so long as they deemed certain enormous genres unworthy of attention. To stay open it needed to secure advertising, to secure advertising it needed to have readership in key consumer demographics. After all this was a paper for all readers not a niche journal.

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  5. Robin
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 12:39:39

    I don’t know; this feels like the newspaper equivalent of a public school that begins its budget cuts by getting rid of arts and music education. Whether or not they reviewed Romance, I’m always frustrated that people (especially those who run a newspaper) think literature in the broad sense isn’t essential, let alone important, for cultural literacy and social vitality.

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  6. Michelle
    Jul 28, 2008 @ 18:54:20

    The PBS News Hour had a story tonight about the LA Times stopping its book section, and it talked about the online book review world. Representing that side was Kassia Krozier of booksquared. You may want to watch it or check out the transcript on pbs dot org.

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  7. Vivienne Westlake
    Aug 06, 2008 @ 23:56:54

    I live in the LA area and I missed this bit of news. It’s so surprising that they would eliminate this section of the newspaper. I wonder if they are replacing that space with some other supplement or more classifieds?While much of LA is very computer literate, I still meet people through my job who won’t touch email or the internet. Having newspaper book reviews is still an important service. I think if readership dropped significantly, they were probably picking the wrong books to review. You guys have a point that maybe they should have expanded the genres of fiction they reviewed as a way to bring in a new audience.

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