The Washington Post announced yesterday that it will shutter the print version of Book World, the stand-alone book review section of its Sunday edition, and move reviews to two other sections of the paper. In an article published online yesterday afternoon—after rumors of the decision had been flying through the blogosphere and Motoko Rich of the New York Times finally confirmed them—Howard Kurtz, a staff writer for the Post, put the news bluntly: "The Washington Post is killing Book World as a separate Sunday section and moving its coverage of books and publishing elsewhere in the paper." The decision leaves the New York Times Book Review as the only stand-alone books section in an American newspaper.
While Book World will continue to be published online as its own entity, the final print version will appear on February 15. Book reviews will be divided between the Outlook and Style and Arts sections. Kurtz quoted the paper's executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, as saying that the decision was made to cut expenses during a time when all newspapers are suffering from declining revenue and circulation.
Book World was launched in the 1960s, folded in 1973, and was revived in the early 1980s. Pulitzer Prize-winning critics Jonathan Yardley and Michael Dirda were among the section's recent, popular contributors. Beginning next month, their columns will appear elsewhere in the newspaper.