Comments: 3Q with Shanna Swendson

Hi Joshilyn,

I love your blog and read it all the time, but I disagree with your take on book reviews moving from print to blog. If you're interested, I posted on it today.

Have a good day!

Posted by Stephanie at May 3, 2007 10:10 AM

Ooh, I can't wait to read this book! I loved the first two.

Posted by Aimee at May 3, 2007 10:59 AM

If the newspapers are saying book reviews are no longer their responsibility because of blogs, why don't they capitulate entirely? There are plenty of news sources on the web, too, so why even bother publishing a newspaper? This seems like splitting hairs on the part of the papers.

We no longer buy our state's paper, although we do subscribe to a local weekly paper, so I feel like perhaps I'm not even positioned to have an opinion here. The person in the NY Times article with whom I most agreed was the one who said the local angle would be lost, that local authors would no longer have the support of their local paper if the book review section was lost. I guess that's why we get the local paper instead of the state-wide one--I get the information and stories most pertinent to me that I wouldn't find anywhere else. Online is one kind of community, one that I love, but it's not the only kind, and it can't replace everything. I hope your show of support for AJC's book editor is successful.

Posted by amy at May 3, 2007 11:19 AM

I have to say... I bought the first two after reading about them here... and as soon as I clicked over to FTK today I immediately clicked away, bought the book online and THEN came back and read the interivew... that's how excited I was that the third book is out!

I'm sorry that Rosa didn't get to read book #3, she sounds like a wonderful friend!

Posted by Heather Cook at May 3, 2007 12:46 PM

I may have to take the link down because I find your entry to be BUTT CLENCHINGLY embarrassing. I SO apologize! That was NOT what I meant at all, I just dashed off a sentence and did not even reread it and it does NOT express either my opinion OR the opinion of anyone with more brains that a dead weasel. GAH! OMG. I want the earth to swallow me.

Here is the comment I left on on her blog. SO ambarrassed.

I redacted that statement from my blog and I apologize. I absolutely do NOT feel dissed by the New York Times---that would be ridiculous. I AM hugely embarrassed to have thrown something in haste up on my blog that was so inflamatory and so easily misinterpreted.

It was shoddy, rushed writing on my part. I NEVER meant to imply the NYT is the read of choice of poor kids. That's, um, silly, as you point out, and I feel like a dork for phrasing it in such a way that I look really, NO really, exactly that stupid.

Also, to be clear the NYT did NOT take a stance. They don't do that. They report. Here, they reported a trend, and I do not like the TREND.

Small papers all over the country are following the AJC and the LA times example---newspapers are beginning to stop covering BOOKS. This sends a message that books are not newsworthy and not valid as entertainment. Why read when there is TV!!!! And you don't see movie and TV sections disappearing. And yes, I think on some levels this is a class issue. I have LOTS of relatives who take the home town paper but do not own a computer and who only know what a blog is because they know I have one.

My stance is this and only this: I want my home-city newspaper to have a book review section. I want everyone's home-city newspaper to have one. The end.


Posted by joshilyn at May 3, 2007 1:31 PM

I work in a University library and everything is going electronic. The majority of our budget is now spent on subscriptions to electronic databases, journals, etc. instead of actual books. Of course, some of that has to do with how expensive these electronic journals, databases, etc. are, but still it's kind of frightening to me to think that the written word on paper is going away -- even if it's a book review in a local paper. There's just something about holding what you're reading that makes me invest in it so much more. I tried reading some e-books online and just couldn't do it. Couldn't get comfortable in my desk chair for one thing!! :)

Posted by Leandra at May 3, 2007 4:06 PM

I'm the other editor for Estella's Revenge (the one that's green with envy that she didn't get to interview you). Thanks so much for the interview. It was a joy to read and from the feedback I've heard, our readers loved it!!

Thanks again,

Andi Miller

Posted by Andi at May 3, 2007 4:24 PM

So glad you made it to the Read-Out. I'm at Fort Benning and John asked if I could go but I had a previous obligation that kept me away. Hoorah for you for showing up and speaking out. And newspapers can't understand why readership is declining nationwide. Good Grief!!!

Posted by Karen Spears Zacharias at May 3, 2007 6:24 PM

I just bought the first book in the series (thanks to promoting her as a B4B judge last year!)

And FWIW, our paper only publishes book reviews on Sunday....I've found many great books that way AND through blogs AND in the free book catalogue at BooksAMillion. Lots of room for everyone, at least for this book addict ;)

Posted by Angel at May 4, 2007 12:57 AM

No one is saying blogs aren't good places for book reviews. I'm certainly not. But to remove the book editor or -- as some papers are doing -- to move the books from Sunday to Saturday's low circ paper, OR, as others are doing, stop running them altogether is sad ---- another blow to reading.

Posted by joshilyn at May 4, 2007 6:32 AM

Lovely interview, Joss, and touching, Shanna, that you dedicated your third book to your friend Rosa. Book friends are the very bestest kind. Shanna's a dear herself. I met her at the World Fantasy convention in Austin last year. I found her first two books delightful and I'm looking forward eagerly to reading this one. Thanks for the location tip. I'd have been looking in SF/F or the Romance aisle. And as for trail clues? Silly Shanna, just leave one of your books! ;-)

Posted by David at May 4, 2007 5:31 PM

Hi David!

By the way, I'll be at the Hastings in Round Rock next Wednesday night at 7. As I recall, that's your neck of the woods.

Posted by Shanna Swendson at May 4, 2007 7:54 PM


Posted by Bill at May 13, 2007 9:39 AM