In the world of books, it’s sometimes tough to find reviews that don’t come from Amazon.
Now, a new site promises to give book lovers a great experience from the Seattle perspective. The Seattle Review of Books has launched to “reflect, record, and celebrate our underserved literary community.”
“We have marvelous bookstores, excellent libraries, a vibrant community of writers, the most eager readers, world-famous institutions devoted to the art and craft of writing and reading, and a tremendous readings scene that hosts thousands of literary events a year,” write founders Paul Constant and Martin McClellan on the site. “But for a multitude of reasons, Seattle’s media barely bothers to cover books at all.”
You might recognize Constant’s byline as he was the former books editor at The Stranger, and he has contributed to the Progressive, Newsweek, Re/Code and worked as a bookseller around the city. McClellan is a novelist, his first book California Four O’Clock (about the lore of pinups) was funded by a Kickstarter campaign, and he builds websites and apps as a UX designer for Breaking News, owned by NBC.
The site will also feature blog posts, columns, calendar listings and other information about Seattle book events. Authors can submit books for review, and writers are welcome to contact the editors about contributing.
On a national scale, outside of the New York Times book review section, most major media outlets have cut book sections entirely or reprint reviews from somewhere else. And review publications are often considered for the inside book trade only and can be expensive.
Comparatively, Seattle still has a good literary scene going. Local daily, The Seattle Times, still has original books coverage as does alt-weekly The Stranger, among a multitude of other locals’ book blogs. We also have fabulous local bookstores that support authors and hold events, and some of the country’s best public libraries. It’s great to see another site dedicated to books, especially in our book-loving city.