The Chicago Tribune rolled out its new Saturday book section today, as it announced weeks ago. The good news is that Books has expanded to sixteen pages, up from twelve. The bad news is that it is in the Saturday paper, which has many fewer readers than the Sunday paper. The good news is that it looks really sharp, with more books reviewed in a layout that resembles the New York Times Book Review. The bad news is that it looks so good because there is very little advertising to clutter the pages; the penny counters in the newspaper's business office certainly won't want to continue a section that does not raise advertising revenue.
Today's book section has an interesting mix of titles, including serious and light fiction, a couple of large biographies, history, true crime, and children's books. Several of the books have Chicago area appeal. The book that I am putting on my reading list is Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction is Changing Men, Women, and the World by Liza Mundy. I am glad to see my library has it and someone is already reading it.
Just three weeks ago the New York Times ran an article about the death of book sections in newspapers across the country. Will the Chicago Tribune book section long survive? Let's hope for a miracle.