Monday, April 09, 2007

This is your library. This is your library hung over.


Actually, this is a photograph Lolly Robinson took of our "no shelf," the place where not-reviewed materials land. It's an old photo; the no shelf now retains some semblance of order despite its persistent spiritual kinship with the Island of Misfit Toys.

13 comments:

shahairyzad said...

Hey! That's my book on the 3rd shelf from the bottom!

Elizabeth said...

Oh, God. It reminds me of the sign that hung, years ago, over the Dial Books slush pile: "Here today, here tomorrow."

Anonymous said...

Oh, I feel much better about the sate of things around here now.

Roger Sutton said...

Well it certainly is satiating!

But do not overworry--remember, these particular heaps are of books that fall out of Horn Book review scope--adult books, vanity press titles, book-and merchandise, etc--or extra copies sent by publishers who couldn't restrain themselves to the requested two. We review hardcover children's books comprehensively, covering more than 6000 titles a year, with board books, novelty books, and paperbacks reviewed selectively.

Melinda said...

I'd take a couple of those off your hands if I didn't live 600 miles away.

Barbara said...

Aaaaccchh!

At work? Never!

with pain in my heart,
and sadness at the sight,

Barbarian the librarian

Lynn said...

Kind of removes the "romance" from book reviewing, doesn't it? Poor, sad, little books.

Sheila said...

I have to respectfully disagree with your assertion that you review hardcover children's books comprehensively. Your submission guidelines clearly state that books from publishers not listed in Literary Market Place aren't considered. Since Literary Market Place only lists publishers that publish three or more titles per year and have a total of ten titles in print, your reviews effectively exclude many micro-publishers, some of whom are producing quality work one or two books at a time.

Roger Sutton said...

Sheila is correct, and that is why I chose the word "comprehensively" rather than "completely." In the Horn Book Guide, we wanted to review a definable universe of books, and the LMP rule is what we came up with. I admit that there are good books being published by companies not in LMP, just as there is obviously garbage being published by companies that are. As publishing changes (increasing sophistication of small-press and self published books, more interesting original paperback publishing, electronic publishing, etc.) we know we will have to change too. We just haven't figured out exactly how and to what change yet. In the meantime, ALL children's books published for and available in some form in the U.S. are eligible and considered for review in the Horn Book Magazine, including small presses, foreign titles distributed here, and paperbacks.

Anonymous said...

it makes one flinch (well, it makes THIS one flinch) to see any books treated so cavalierly - even books which are not worthy of the sainted HB.

Roger Sutton said...

I know what you mean, Anonymous--it's bad enough that we even dare to evaluate them. It's like trying to review, well, magic.

Sheila said...

Thank you for responding to my comment. I do understand the dilemma of how to define a manageable universe of books in a time when we are approaching 200,000 new books published each year. I'll watch with interest to see how Horn Book and other review journals adapt to a changing world. I hope that you can find a way to include those books that deserve to be included.

While we're on the topic, perhaps you could address a question that has been under discussion among small publishers. LMP has a small press section in which presses too small to be otherwise included in LMP can pay for a listing. Does inclusion in the small press section of LMP qualify a publisher's books for review in the Horn Book Guide?

rindawriter said...

Wow! All I could think of was the wealth of books you'all did read and review!