Thanks to Bookninja for pointing out This plea for more book reviewing in Canada, and in particular at the CBC. And I agree, Canada Reads is not enough. In my humble opinion the problem has to do with a lack of guts. Yes, guts. It takes guts to be a good reviewer, a good publisher, a good producer and/or editor. One can’t wait for someone else to say what’s worth reading, one needs to go out on a limb and make more daring choices. And then open up those choices to the common reader.
As the industry gets pummeled this is the very aspect that becomes more scarce. Everyone becomes less daring at the very time when daring is what is needed. The Ceeb, and the Writers Festivals, make more and more predictable choices, taking less and less risks. Piggybacking on the choices of other, bigger literary fish. Not the way to build an interesting literature. The reason Can Lit was so exciting “back in the day” is that people were making bold choices, big bold choices that they believed in, that they promoted and in doing so, created a dynamic literary world
Now they just look at the New York Times, or the London Review of Books, or the prize lists. We’re becoming reduced to a people who only discuss books in terms of prizes… Those bloggers who do the work for nothing? Perhaps they are the ones doing that work now, making bolder choices, and actually unpacking texts for readers, not just celebrating the safe and the banal.