Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Say It Isn't So!

Every Sunday afternoon, I read the newspaper. I quickly go through it, arranging the sections in the order that I want to read them. I never bother with the Classifieds. Over to the side they go. Next, I set aside Sports and Business unless something on the front page of the section catches my eye. I read the main section first, then international news, then the Arkansas section, then on to Style, next to Perspectives, then Travel, etc. . . . But there’s one section that I always carefully save for last: Books. It’s like dessert, or a good cup of coffee after a meal.

Every Sunday, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette devotes two whole pages to books. On the left-hand side, the Best-Seller List runs the whole length of the page, Fiction and Non-Fiction broken down by Hardback and Paperback sales. The rest of the two pages are taken up with book reviews.

Imagine my dismay when I opened up to the Books section last Sunday and found this:

“Publication of the Books section ends with today’s Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Economic conditions preclude its continuation. The resources used for many years to publish two pages about books will be redirected toward the newspaper’s core mission of covering the news.”

President Obama seems to be a president who loves literature. You think that if I contact him personally, he might direct a little of that bailout money towards rescuing Book sections nationwide?

Yeah. That’s what I thought, too. But one can always dream . . .

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