29 August, 2006

The Decline of the Book Review

In India, the decline of the book review is especially frustrating because it's happened just as the publishing industry has started providing more — more books, selling in more numbers, covering more subjects, more professional translations, more new writers. I can only assume that the bright boys who run newspaper marketing departments read nothing these days, not even publishing industry reports.

But 10 years ago, the physical space for the book review began to shrink, and it continues to suffer from anorexia. The intellectual space for any sort of engaged discussion on the living culture around us shrank in tandem, as the review went down from 1,500 words — such profligate largesse, I think now — to 1,000, then 600, then 400.
Nilanjana S Roy, friend and lit critic (and, in another avataar, one of our earlier litbloggers), on The Decline of the Book Review in the Hindu.


km said...

All reviews will someday resemble to the Four-Word Film Review.

zigzackly said...

A friend and I worked hard at SMS film reviews. 160 characters per movie. Most didn't need that many. :D

newnimproved said...

Films are playing a central role in the life of Indians.
Journalists are playing to the galleries.
Easy for them as most movies can be reviewed in 160 characters or less as zigzackly points out.
Expect us to regress back to cavemen style, monosyllabic grunts.
Hey, isn’t that happening already?