Peak book?

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Over at the New York Review of Books, Tim Parks wonders whether we’ve reached a point where there are too many books being published. Specifically, he asks: “Is there a relationship between the quantity of books available to us, the ease with which they can be written and published, and our reading experience?”

As his essay indicates, this is a question that has been with us for several hundred years now, and with the rise of the Internet it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon. So how do we judge the various methods for sorting the wheat from the chaff? Are book reviews and literary prizes necessary? Or are there too many of them as well?

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