Monday, January 12, 2009

Newspaper Book Section

Vicki reporting that in the depths of the January gloom bright sparks do occasionally illuminate the darkness.

I wrote a while ago about how disappointed I was that the Globe and Mail was discontinuing their separate book section and folding Books into the Focus section. The paper unveiled their new format this week, and I must say, I’m impressed.

The section seems to be about as big as it used to be. I was afraid it would be one page at the back of Focus. In the past the crime fiction reviews alternated weeks with children’s books, and this week the children’s article was there, reviewing as many books as in the past. So I’m hopeful that Margaret Cannon’s Crime column will continue. I’ll let you know next week.

They’ve beefed up the online Books section considerably, and it looks pretty good. There will be a new review online every day. Here’s something new and interesting – a bestselling list of mysteries only. This week the Number One slot is occupied by Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. (What the heck, isn’t that pretty old, and didn’t he have his fifteen minutes some time ago?). The number two position is more like it – Louise Penny’s The Cruellest Month. (Louise was kind enough to be a guest blogger here at Type M a few months ago. If you didn’t read what she had to say then, you can now: http://typem4murder.blogspot.com/2008/06/louise-penny-report.html)

For Rick’s interest, there’s an article today about the rise of e-books. Important, it is argued, for taking control of the publishing industry out of the hands of Dan Brown and the like, and reintroducing the concept of the backlist. Which, come to think of it, is exactly the use Rick wants to make of e-publishing.

Want more good news: According to the Globe, book sales in Canada have grown 4.9%. (It doesn’t say, but I’ll assume that means last year). If our U.S. author friends are saying “that’s okay for Canada, but what does it have to do with us?” – 7 of the 10 mystery bestsellers are by American writers. (Peter Robinson has two of the slots, along with Louise Penny).

So colour me happy with the Globe’s changes. I get the paper book section I’ve always enjoyed so much and nice extras online.

You can find the Globe and Mail online book section at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/books/

Oh, and one thing to add to last week’s list of things worth knowing – if you rely on propane for heat, don’t run out.

1 comment:

Rick Blechta said...

I have looked at the Globe’s online book section and I think it's quite fine (other than the weird formatting that results in n-dashes being given in code).

With the news media increasingly turning to the Internet, this is a good thing. I will have to find the Saturday print edition and look it over.