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The Day the LAT Book Review Died

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The last stand-alone LAT Book Review, on July 27, 2008, with Doris Lessing on the cover

In the spring of last year, we lamented the shrinking of the LA Times Book Review. We waxed poetic about waking up on Sunday mornings to get our paper. We lovingly detailed thumbing through the big hulk of Sunday newsiness and adverstising to pull out our favorite part of the paper: the Book Review.
We were deeply saddened, all those months ago, by the merging of our favorite section with the Opinion section. It was rough-going, but at least we had a book section to read then.

Now, D-Day is upon us. Fling open your front doors and gather up your Sunday papers in quiet reverence, as today is the last day of the Sunday LA Times Book Review as we know it. From now on, book reviews will be published in the calendar section along with restaurant openings, happy hour listings and movie times. That's right - the paper that hosts the largest annual book festival in the world, is cutting its book review section down to a nub.

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We have followed the latest news about the LAT cuts and firings in grim silence. We have read other LA coverage with much interest and hand-wringing, and we've carefully considered the detailed analysis of what it all means in Inside Higher Ed. We were even heartened by the letter from four former LAT Book Editors that chronicled all that is wrong with this ridiculous decision.