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In Praise of the Barnes and Noble Book Review Section

Rob Pegoraro isn't too impressed with Barnes and Noble's new e-bookstore. Not being an e-book reader, I don't have much to say on that.

But I did want to recommend the book review site the company is running, and not just because I'm an occasional contributor. Book review sections have been one of the first things to go as newspaper revenues have dipped. The Washington Post, for instance, used to have Book World, an insert dedicated to book reviews. That's been folded into Outlook and Style. The Los Angeles Times has let go of its book review section.

Selling books, however, seems to be a more stable source of revenue than reviewing books. And Barnes and Noble has put some of that money toward a pretty impressive book review section: Michael Dirda writes for them, and Christopher Hayes, and Scott McLemee. It has interviews with T.C. Boyle and the five books you should read on Bastille Day. It's really an impressive enterprise. I was going to end this post by saying that "the only downside is that it doesn't have an RSS feed," but it turns out it does have an RSS feed.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 24, 2009; 10:53 AM ET
Categories:  Books  
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Comments

I know you said "more stable" in the post, but aren't most book stores losing business, including B&N's closest rival, Borders, leaving B&N as one of the few profitable print book sellers? Is it fair then to say that print book selling is a stable business, or has B&N just about cornered the market?

Posted by: MosBen | July 24, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Or, I guess, I could be misremembering the state of the book selling business and my whole post could be wrong...but *that* never happens...

Posted by: MosBen | July 24, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

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