The New York Times Book Review: A list of their own

By Kera Bolonik

By Salon Staff
Published August 22, 2000 7:03PM (EDT)

Read the story

I'm delighted that the New York Times has started a Children's Bestseller category. It has become irritating to see the same books on the list over and over again, taking up a large percentage of the adult fiction list. In addition, there are deserving titles that can never make those top 15 spots because 23 to 30 percent of the slots are occupied by the same children's titles month after month. In reality, many bookstores also discount the New York Times bestsellers. This will open up the list for more books available at the discount price. Hopefully, it will also bring some more intriguing books to the list as well.

While they are at it, I would like the New York Times to consider adding another list for books that have been on the lists for more than a year in any category. Let's clear the decks so that more authors' works can be highlighted and more readers be exposed to a greater variety of offerings.

-- Barbara Mathews Blanton

One thing the article fails to mention is that the New York Times was urged to create a new children's list by bestselling authors and their agents. Many of their contracts have bonus clauses based on the number of weeks a title is on the New York Times list -- and it's pretty difficult to qualify for a big bonus if four of the bestseller spots are tied up with "children's" titles.

-- Larry Lorimer

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------