Yesterday it was the Book Review's former editors pleading to keep a distinct books presence in the Los Angeles Times. Today, Los Angeles author Daniel A. Olivas (Latinos in Lotusland, among other books) emailed Times editors with an appeal that's both civic and personal.
Los Angeles Times:
My wife and I are distressed by the reports concerning the Times' plans to scrap the Sunday Book Review and downsize it to a few pages in the Calendar section.
While we understand the economic difficulties the Times and other print media are suffering through, the Sunday Book Review is not only a joy to read, but represents, in may ways, the cultural and intellectual health of our city.
I grew up in a working class neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles and my parents knew that the way their five children would make it in this world was through education and books. My parents introduced us to such writers as Mark Twain, Miguel de Cervantes, Willa Cather, and Ernest Hemingway. My fondest memories concern our frequent visits to the public library. Because of this emphasis on reading, my parents planted the seeds for their children's success. Four of us finished college, and three of us went on to earn advanced degrees. The schools represented in our family include Stanford, UCLA, Harvard and Loyola University. My parents went through tough economic times but they never denied us our dreams. Today, I'm a government lawyer and the author of four books of fiction.
Instilling in us the love of books was key to this success. My wife and I have filled our house with books which has been a perfect environment for our teenage son. In fact, he has been working on a novel and has written some very beautiful poetry.
We urge you to reconsider your decision regarding the Sunday Book Review.
Thank you for consideration.
Daniel A. Olivas
Eliminating the 6-8 tabloid pages of the already thinned-down Book Review seems like a relatively minor savings in the scheme of things. Edward Champion is reporting (and I've confirmed) that the books section is also losing a second assistant editor, Kristina Lindgren, an experienced Times staffer who was an editor and reporter previously in Metro and Orange County. Earlier I reported that assistant editor Sara Lippincott and New York-based publishing reporter Josh Getlin were leaving as well.