Amy Hertz’ lead-off column for the Huffington Post’s new books section has bunched up the undergarments of some folks in the industry. Some commenters think her “no reviews” stance is pure genius; some think it’s delusional. Myself, I vote for a bit of both but that we won’t know if it leads more toward genius or delusion for a few months yet.
But that’s another discussion.
What struck me was this passage: “Book reviews tend to be conversation enders, and when you’re living in the age of engagement, a time when people are looking for conversation starters, that stance gets you nowhere.”
So what purpose do book reviews have in this “age of engagement?” Are they a dinosaur waiting for the information of its death to reach its brain? Or are book reviews about something else, especially in a magazine like Locus?
I don’t know that I have any good answers. I’m hoping that you all might have some thoughts. Why do you read book reviews? What do you hope to get out of them? Or are they already a dead medium?