Just when you thought literary culture was dead . . .

litmob_logo.gif… this happens. Around the same time that the Los Angeles Times closes down its stand-alone book section, this website pops up, taking a stand for books and people who love to read. Called Lit Mob, it looks like the literary version of Pitchfork Media, with the same DIY ethic and snarky attitude.

From the About page:

This is a tough letter to write as technically you do not exist. “They” say that no one reads anymore and that you spend all of your time watching TiVo’d episodes of Dancing With the Stars, playing video games, or stealing music from your computer. If you don’t exist then neither do we, which seems rather odd as we really did write this letter and you are now in fact reading it.

And thank God for that attitude. Even though many daily newspapers are shedding their books coverages, much of it is bland and dry and more like a fourth-grade book report than the product of one person’s thinking filtered by time, passion, and an informed sensibility.

Here’s an example of a dry-as-dust review, from Sunday’s Charleston Post and Courier. It’s a review of Command of Honor: General Lucian Truscott’s Path to Victory in World War II by H. Paul Jeffers.

This is the first painful sentence in dire need of a thoughtful editor:

In a time when it is commonplace to memorialize the fleeting tenures and scant contributions of politicians by attaching their names to public edifices such as bridges, highways and buildings, it is truly startling to realize, by contrast, that some of the truly worthy heroes of the age have become so easily forgotten.

Lastly, Lit Mob is among a bevy of publications, which are themselves run by young, educated professionals who for the most part are solidly ensconced in the GenX and GenY demographic (the very people who are not supposed to be interested in reading, by the way), taking up the cause for books coverage. n+1, New Haven Review, Dark Sky Magazine (a local web-journal edited by CCP critic Kevin Murphy) and Charleston City Paper (as well as our sister publications around the country that can be found at Altweeklies.com) are adding book reviews, essays, features, etc. to their websites.

August 17, 2008 1:37 PM | | Comments (0)


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by FlyOver published on August 17, 2008 1:37 PM.

The problem with copyright and property law? It can stifle innovation was the previous entry in this blog.

Rhetoric professors gone wild! is the next entry in this blog.

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