In a Thursday column, Washington Post "media critic" Howard Kurtz confirmed that the paper will be shutting down its Book World section, a tabloid-sized insert to the Sunday paper featuring reviews, essays, and the rare feature.
It is "one of the few remaining stand-alone book sections in American newspapers," according to Kurtz. In other words, let's all prepare for snobby literary people who never even read Book World to whine sentimentally about how the Post is a heartless corporation, run by philistines.
It's not as if book reviews are leaving the Post completely, after all! The paper will retain its two (2) Pulitzer Prize-winning book critics, Jonathan Yardley and Michael Dirda, who will move their reviews to the Sunday Outlook and Style sections, respectively.
Along with the work of guest writers, the Post expects to "publish about three-quarters of the roughly 900 reviews it has carried each year." How many books did YOU read last year? Was it three-quarters of 900, which is... (carry the zero)... 675? Did you read 675 BOOKS last year?? No, so it's fine, and the Post will save a lot of money in these terrible times.
Nevertheless, some Very Important writers -- ones who have never looked at the Post's balance sheet, or really any balance sheet, ever -- will not stand idly and watch as the Post wages war on Erudition:
NEW YORK -- Historians Robert Dallek and Sean Wilentz and author-essayist Barbara Ehrenreich are among the more than 100 writers who have signed an open letter asking The Washington Post not to shut down its stand-alone Sunday Book World section.
Surely if they ask hard enough, with the vaguest possible arguments, the Post will magically find itself afloat in riches and able to publish all sections, every day, forever.