TO news‐editors, trained in the new technique of “splashing” information or events, a book has value according to its newsiness. But even the word “news” has limitations nowadays. The book's subject must be topical, be of “wide appeal.” If a literary critic mentions that Mr. A. P. Herbert's book Holy Deadlock is a vigorous attack on the matrimonial laws, the news‐editor gives his readers a thrill by telling them all about it in the headings, and economising in space thereafter by cutting down his critic's copy ; for comment, not criticism, is the first purpose of the journalist to‐day as seen by the news‐editor. Inevitably, then, book reviewers must meet the demands of their editors; and publishers, those people who pay liberally for space in newspapers, have been converted to the faith of the news‐editor. The result is that book advertisements are frequently as chatty and “bright” as the news columns that surround them.
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