What if there are no more books like these?

Author James Patterson asked this question  recently with a full-page advertisement in The New York Times Book Review that also asked, “Who will save our books? Our bookstores? Our libraries?” The ad also appeared in Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly. Perhaps it should also appear in The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post for more impact, given their audiences. Readers, critics, booksellers and book buyers, who read the aforementioned three, already preach this sermon.

Message aside, the NYT ad includes 37 book titles that create a great reading list — a wide variety ranging from Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Stephen King’s Different Seasons to John Cheever’s The Wapshot Chronicle and Saul Bellow’s Herzog. Introducing the list, Patterson asks:

“If there are no bookstores, no libraries, no serious publishers with passionate, dedicated, idealistic editors, what will happen to our literature? Who will discover and mentor new writers? Who will publish our important books? What will happen if there are no more books like these?”

Click on the image to get a readable view of the books and the rest of the ad. (You should see a magnifying glass, so you can click again to zoom in.) Check off the books you’ve read and whatever remains, I’d say you’ve got a great summer reading list. Note: Publisher’s Weekly produced the ad on a wrap-around cover, which included eight additional books. Those eight appear below the image.

James Patterson NYT advt 4.21.13

Lush Life by Richard Price

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

What Is the What by Dave Eggers

The World According to Garp by John Irving

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

4 thoughts on “What if there are no more books like these?

  1. Thank you for featuring this. I hadn’t seen the ad, and this is a real concern as so much migrates on line. The physical book is a perfectly evolved mobile technology and anything that threatens it or its ecology is of concern.


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