The Washington Post announced today that Book World would no longer be a stand alone supplement in the Sunday newspaper. The paper said it would continue book reviews in the Style and Outlook sections of the paper. Katherine Graham, former Post chief executive, once said "the mark of a good newspaper is its book section." I will not pass judgement until I see what the Post does, but I do not hold out high hopes. I don't blame the Post - this was simply a business decision made by someone who does not feel the same as Mrs Graham. This move will, though, contribute to the decline of reading in America.
Book World was always my "first read" on Sunday. I read between 75-100 books each year, roughly balanced between history, biography, business and fiction, and it was always fun to see the top 10 lists for DC readers. My "to read" stack is always high.
The Post rarely covered business books, though, regardless of how popular or good they might be. A couple days ago I started to fill this niche in my own way, with a section at one of my web sites to be called "Amtower on Business Books" - or something along those lines.
The first interview/review is already up -
and it is an audio interview (downloadable) with David Meerman Scott on his upcoming World Wide Rave, to be released the first week of March. David provided me one of the advance copies and I have already read it twice (that only counts as once on my "75-100" list). This is a great book and a pretty good interview.
I have already scheduled the next interview/review, which will be with my long-time friend Robert W (Bob) Bly, perhaps the most prolific business author today (with over 75 books). I will be talking with Bob about his excellent new book, Persuasive Presentations for Business. I will interview him early next week and the review will be up by next Friday. I have many of Bob's book in my business library (downstairs in the office; the fiction library is upstairs). This book is an excellent resource for anyone in business, as we all need some help when it comes to speaking.
I hope to do at least one of these every month.
A survey I read about in the Post said that one in four adults read no books last year (the study was in 2008). Most only read one book per year. Enough said.