Be Careful What You Ask For

May 8th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

While we’ve been fighting the Mad Beast of Sinus (new Tylenol product: Severe, written in friendly, easy-to-read-through-the-agony yellow letters), others have been thinking. Normally, we don’t encourage this sort of behavior, but that’s only because we know what sort of trouble ensues. When you throw something out into the collective unconscious, you may eventually be required to do something about it.

Mark Sarvas tempts fate by offering his top ten things he would do to resuscitate the Los Angeles Times Book Review. While we’d focus more on important things like dress code and making sure the coffee is always fresh and hot, Mr. Elegant Variation actually proposes practical things:

Stop trying to be the New York Review, and bring an end to long-winded self-important reviews of obscure academic and/or pedantic political titles which will sell fewer than 5000 500 copies anyway. Pithy and rude shall be the order of the day. (Corollary 6a – Immediately spike any review in which the reviewer writes more about him or herself than about the book under review.)

Yeah, we really like the idea of pithy and rude. On a related note, Tod Goldberg wonders if it’s time for the LATBR to add a blogging component (which his readers then lead into a discussion on review voices versus blogging voices). Normally, we support Tod’s ideas, but believe several steps are required: a) explaining what blogs are to the LAT; b) figuring out how to integrate blog comments into the paper’s already irritating registration process; and, c) freeing the “Calendar” content for once and for all. In short, we suspect it would be an unmitigated disaster. We believe the blog should be launched immediately. Probably they should use home-grown blogging software to improve the experience.

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs