Bravo, New Orleans

The New Orleans Times-Picayune has done some smart, heroic things in recent years, notably continuing to report and publish in the teeth of Hurricane Katrina. Yesterday's announcement that the newspaper will actually expand and amplify its books coverage doesn't match that particularly gutsy decision, but, considering how many newspapers outside of New York -- notably the Dallas Morning News -- have seriously cut back on staff or space in books and arts coverage in deference to Wall Street pressures, it's inspiring to read the editors' reasoning on this, the first day of the New Year:

In addition to our stable of reviews and features on the local literary scene, look for new features devoted to book clubs and reading groups, literary movers and shakers, and expanded bestseller lists.

Our expanded books coverage is built on a belief that a great many of our readers have a rich and varied reading life, beyond the newspaper. and while some national statistics seem to suggest that reading is on the decline, others make a different case.

According to U.S. Census figures, total book sales in 2006, not counting school textbooks, exceeded $16 billion. That's more than the $12.5 billion in sales of hardware and software for video games.

January 1, 2008 10:27 AM |



Best of the Vault


Pat Barker, Frankenstein, Cass Sunstein on the internet, Samuel Johnson, Thrillers, Denis Johnson, Alan Furst, Caryl Phillips, Richard Flanagan, George Saunders, Michael Harvey, Larry McMurtry, Harry Potter and more ...


Big D between the sheets -- Dallas in fiction


Reviewing the state of reviewing


9/11 as a novel: Why?


How can critics say the things they do? And why does anyone pay attention? It's the issue of authority.

The disappearing book pages:  

Papers are cutting book coverage for little reason

Thrillers and Lists:  

Noir favorites, who makes the cut and why



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