Critical Mass

Marcus Brauchli Responds to Petition from 122 Book World Contributors

By Jane Ciabattari

Marcus Brauchli, top editor at the Washington Post, responds to the petition from 122 Book World contributors, including many NBCC members:

Many thanks for your letter and for your loyalty to Book World. 

As you can imagine, this was not an easy decision. But it was made somewhat lighter by the knowledge that we are preserving Book World’s editing team and most of the coverage and reviews they and many of you produce.

We also take some encouragement from the knowledge that our books coverage will reach a much larger audience in the paper; Style and Outlook both enjoy wider readership than Book World has. We are not radically scaling back the number of books we review in print, so you could conclude that there will be a bigger intersection between our readers and book reviews under this new arrangement.

Online, we intend to develop a strong, easy-to-navigate, well indexed Book World site. Some bloggers have pointed out that book reviews inevitably will migrate to the Web. Reviews online are no doubt easier to find. Putting them online also shortens the distance between reading a review and buying a book, which surely is a good thing for authors and the book trade. 

These times require difficult choices, but the choices we have made we believe will serve our readers—and book readers and lovers, too. We’re grateful and honored that such an illustrious group as the signatories to your letter would take a close interest in The Post’s future.


Marcus Brauchli

Here also are NBCC board member Scott McLemee’s comments about Book World.