Critical Mass

News from the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Book Editor


NBCC member Karen Long, book editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, shares this news for reviewers:

Dear Colleagues,

For three years, it’s been my joy to help unleash your opinions upon the world, or at least the corner of it in northeast Ohio.  Thank you for making the books pages one of the smartest, most diverse, liveliest and unpredictable sections of The Plain Dealer.

Starting this Sunday, July 6, that joy is reduced by 25 percent.  The pages are being cut to one and one-half.  Nobody following the news biz can pretend to be surprised, but all of us can be sad, just the same.

The most important part of this email, however, is to stress that a reduction of 25 percent still allows us a passing grade, especially if we spend the real estate we do have more wisely.  That means that shorter reviews gain a new currency, especially the brand of substance and succinctness practiced by, for example, Dave Walton and Michele Ross.

Not all reviews will be short, but more of them will.  If you have any questions or suggestions, they are welcome.

Finally, please consider suggesting to friends and relations a quick phone message or email to editor Susan Goldberg this Sunday in support of the book pages.  I expect no reversal of fortune, but I know all calls and emails will be tallied, and it might help us down the road to raise the banner now.

Whatever the road holds, know that I’ll be do my best to keep your splendid work at the fore.  And that I’ll keep you in the loop as news develops.—Karen R. Long, Plain Dealer Book Editor