The National Book Critics Circle needs a little love. We all need a little love sometimes.
…at the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Newsday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Dallas Morning News, the Sun Sentinel, the New Mexican, the Village Voice, Boston Phoenix, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and dozens upon dozens of other papers book coverage has been cut back or slashed all together, moved, winnowed, filled with more wire copy, or generally been treated as expendable.
And we’re getting tired of it. We’re tired of watching individual voices from local communities passed over for wire copy. We’re tired of book editors with decades of experience shown the exit so that the book section can be passed like a hot potato with no dressing. We’re tired of shrinking reviews. We’re tired of hearing newspapers fret and worry over the future of print while they dismantle the section of the paper which deals most closely with the two things which have kept them alive since the dawn of printing presses: the public’s hunger for knowledge and the written word.
So this week the board of the National Book Critics Circle is launching a campaign to try and beat back these changes. Over the next six weeks, this blog will feature posts by concerned writers, interviews with book editors in the trenches, links to op-eds by critics, novelists and other NBCC board members, Q&As with newspaper editors and owners who will explain the business context for these changes, and tips about how you can get involved to make sure those same owners and editors know that book sections matter.
Amen! Amen! Throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care about Dancing with the Stars! Start with signing the petition, then go here (and again) to check up on things. (Quote from Mr. George Saunders, at the NBCC site.)