John Mark Eberhart, books page editor for the Kansas City Star and a find poet with a the book Night Watch from Mid-America Press, has a fine piece on the importance of book review space in newspapers, at http://bookcriticscircle.blogspot.com/ .
Here is an excerpt:
"I personally think it would be terribly lamentable for the nation's newspapers to diminish books coverage. To do so would be to put a knife to our own throats.
"But the most disturbing aspect of this whole thing is the larger cultural question. Are newspapers, in cutting books coverage, really just reflecting a society that cares less and less about books? Are we becoming a nation of people who prefer what I call "garbage" information -- inaccuracies or inanities or both -- over information that is factual, imaginative, truly enlightening?
"If so, then we are in big trouble. If that's not the case, then newspapers that are giving up on books coverage are trying to impose a shallower, more harried, and less interesting view of the written word upon their readers."
Eberhart is also featured poet at Prospero's Bookstore's website: http://prosperosbookstore.com/index.php?page=poem .
Both of these sites, and others if you google his name, are worth spending time with on a quiet, hot July afternoon!
Here is an Eberhart poem, reprinted with permission:
I see it this way:
The evening would be
coming on. Snow would
start making fenceposts
taller. Ice would sculpt
the trees into sentinels.
We'd hear reports of roads
being closed. I'd whisper
into your ear, "see, you
can't drive home tonight."
And all this white wrath,
winter woe for other folks,
would make both of us smile.