Sunday, April 5, 2009

Adding It Up: We review the April 5, 2009 Sunday New York Times Book Review

The New York Times Book Review for April 5, 2009 is 24 pages, and the publication is much, much better than last week's in what's most important for a book review - namely, the number of ads it contains. Last week had a paltry 1.25 pages of ads. But Palm Sunday has brought a miracle comeback, praise the Lord and the Times display advertising department. Thanks also to the advertisers, who are fighting the Thrift Paradox at least for this issue.

The cover, of course, has no ads.

Page 2: The Editors' "Up Front" is flanked on the left by a decent-sized ad from Hachette imprint, for Sarah Dunn's Secrets to Happiness. Lots of ads, we think. The New York Times Store ad on the right flank doesn't count, so we'll call this 40% of a page. We're behind last week already, but that will change soon.

Page 3: Table of contents page has side ad for, um, something or other, titled "What Do Best Selling Authors Read?" with ads for four spiritual-themed books, two from Rowman & Littlefield, two from Simon & Schuster, with a bottom logo of Barnes & Noble. Counts as another 40% of a page.

Page 4: Another 40% of a page ad to the left of the letters for The Jewish Body, a new book by our oldest friend from P.S. 203 Linda Konner's cousin Melvin.

Page 5: Next to the review of a new terrific collection of stories by Kevin Wilson is a little review of Mary Roach's Bonk. Counts as 20# of a page. We're only on page 5, but already we beat last week!

Page 6: A left-hand ad for the New York Times Store. Counts as no ads.

Page 7: The great Beckett, continued, but no ads.

Page 8: No ads.

Page 9: Surprisingly, an ad. In recent weeks, there have been no page 9 ads. Hurray for Hunting Eichmann! Another 40% of a page.

Page 10: No ads.

Page 11: No ads.

Page 12: No ads, but photos from one of our favorite recent photography books, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York by our friends James T. Murray and Karla L. Murray.

Page 13: Nada.

Page 14: Zilch.

Page 15: Nothing in the way of ads.

Page 16: Nope.

Page 17: No ads.

Page 18: No ads.

Page 19: After a week's hiatus, page 19 is back in top form, with a full-page ad from Bose. for its Acoustic Wave Music System II

Page 20: No ads.

Page 21: The right-hand ad is not for a New York Times product for a change but an advertisement by Grand Central Publishing for the great Christopher Hitchens and the not-so-great God. (Those who think Christopher Hitchens is God would undoubtedly say the author isn't so great.) Counts as 40% of a page.

Page 22: Um, on the left 20% of the page is one classified ad, one New York Times ad, and another ad half that size for an Edgar Allan Poe event, Nevermore 2009, in Baltimore. On the right, another New York Times ad. Let's count this as 10% of a page.

Page 23: The essay page has got poetry but no ads.

Page 24: Bauman Rare Books is back with a back-page full-page ad.

Adding it up: We count 4.3 pages of ads, more than three times as many as last week.

Congratulations to the Times display advertising department. We are sending you a dozen slices of baklava from the wonderful Damascus Bread & Pastry Shop on Atlantic Avenue. Inshallah, you'll do even better next week!

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