Magazine article American Libraries

Kirkus Reviews Not Dead Yet; Bought

Magazine article American Libraries

Kirkus Reviews Not Dead Yet; Bought

Article excerpt

In a move that surprised those who had already mourned the passing of Kirkus Reviews, the venerable source of prepublication reviews of new books has been bought by Herb Simon, owner of the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association.

Word was that Kirkus Reviews had fewer than 2,000 subscribers when it folded at the end of 2009, but the 76-year-old publication was still influential and a credible source of information about the quality of writing being peddled by the book industry in America. Publishers still used Kirkus blurbs on their dust jackets and some librarians still used the reviews as a selection tool. Nonetheless, many were more than a little amused by literary agent Ira Silverberg's remark when the news broke: "Hearing about their closing reminded me that they were still publishing."

To much agonizing over what the demise means for libraries, the magazine's previous owner, Nielsen Business Media, announced last December that it would shut Kirkus down along with trade magazine Editor and Publisher, which was also purchased and resumed publication in January.

Unlikely as it may seem that someone who owns a basketball team would see book reviewing as a good investment, Simon also co-owns Tecolote Books, an independent bookstore in Montecito, California. "With the growth of e-books and e-reading devices, no one can really see the future of publishing," he said in the New York Times February 10. …

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