David Beer, In defence of writing book reviews

David Beer, ‘In defence of writing book reviews’ in The Times Higher Education.

A very good piece, which makes a plea for the importance of this engagement. I know, as a former book review editor, how difficult it can be to get people to agree, and then to deliver, a review. ‘Life’s too short to write a book review…’, or ‘they don’t count’ were common comments. But, of course, these same people wanted their own books to be reviewed.

Of course, it’s not helped by some journals taking forever to publish them when they are submitted, by which time the book may be several years old. Lots of journals are now moving to online reviews, which can be posted much quicker. I don’t write as many reviews as I did earlier in my career, but I do still try to write some – they are usually worthwhile and can be fitted around other things, or act as direct inspiration for other work.

David’s piece is well worth a read…

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