The New York Times Book Review is modernizing under the editorship of Pamela Paul, who was appointed to the positon in early April. The section announced three changes in a new column in this Sunday’s issue (it was posted online today). Starting this weekend, the e-book bestseller list, which first joined the printed list in early 2011, will be online only. Additionally, book prices will no longer be included for any books.
“The e-book list has migrated online, the digital world being its natural habitat,” the Times announced. “Given the fluid variety of pricing in today’s marketplace, we have also stopped including cover prices on the lists. The third change is the one you’re reading right now.”
The third change is a more bloggy look. There will be a new column, called “Open Book,” devoted to readings and panels (there are, after all, many a literary event on any given night), as well as an outlet for archival looks back in time. In the debut column, for example, there is a blurb with choice quotes from a 1925 review of The Great Gatsby (amazingly, people were writing about it even before Baz Luhrmann). “Open Book” will replace “Up Front,” the front of book (front of review?) page.
Although nobody, least of all Times Book Review readers, likes change, this one seems relatively benign.