John Sutherland on the Decline of Lit-Crit

In today’s Guardian Book Blog John Sutherland bemoans the decline in space given to book reviews by major newspapers. He’s certainly right that it is happening, and there are related issues such as Publishers Weekly slashing the rates it pays reviewers. But the funny thing is that I’m actually reading more book reviews in British newspapers (or at least their web sites) than ever before, because they are finally starting to review the books I like to read.

Update: Via GalleyCat I discover that Mark Sarvas thinks that the way to save the book review is to go online. I am inclined to agree. After all, no one makes a living from book reviews, and online you don’t get constrained into one or two paragraphs per book. (Also score one for The Guardian getting such fulsome praise from far-off Los Angeles.)

One thought on “John Sutherland on the Decline of Lit-Crit

  1. I went over and read the piece because I was wondering why somebody would think the disappearance of lit-crit from printed papers meant anything. And indeed, he devotes a paragraph to the seductions of online distribution, though being well-compensated is apparently not one of the benefits.

    Basically, he got a column out of wondering “why can’t I get paid enough to make my entire living writing lit-crit for newspapers?” And presumably got paid for it — more power to him.

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