Coming as it does at a time when newspaper book reviews are endangered, many writers, publishers and critics worry that the spread of literary blogs will be seen as compensation for more traditional coverage. “We have a lot of opinions in our world,” said John Freeman, president of the National Book Critics Circle. “What we need is more mediation and reflection, which is why newspapers and literary journals are so important.”
JASON EPSTEIN: Oh, I think so. I don’t think that anything replaces them. I don’t think that the little television snippets or casual book chat can replace a serious book review. Not that all newspaper book reviews are all that serious. They have many kinds of audiences to appeal to. But, no, nothing will take the place of the book review.
Vanishing Newspaper Book Reviews | PBS NewsHour
And newspaper book reviews, which are often accused of hewing too closely to “safe choices,” could learn something from the more freewheeling approach of some of the book blogs, said David L. Ulin, who edits the book review at The Los Angeles Times.