Book World was one of the last remaining stand-alone book review sections in the country, along with the New York Times Book Review. The Washington Post’s move comes as the company, like most other newspaper businesses across the country, has been hobbled by a protracted downturn in advertising. […] “This is disheartening,” said Jane Ciabattari, president of the NBCC, after hearing that the section was indeed being closed. “The only good news is that books coverage continues and that the section is intact online. But the print edition of the stand alone Book World was cherished by readers throughout the region and the country. It carried an authority that has not yet its parallel, online or off.” Several former contributors referred to the stand-alone section’s symbolic quality in prioritizing books. “There is a lot of great online coverage, but you go and look for it,” said Meg Wolitzer, a novelist and regular reviewer for Book World. “For people who get it on their front step, books are honored there and the loss of that seems like a big mistake.”
Coming this month on FWR: an essay about the shuttering of newspaper book review sections and the value of high-quality, edited book reviews.