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Arianna Huffington and the Future of the Book Review

_@user_25785.jpgAs the publishing world converged at the Tools of Change conference in New York City this week, GalleyCat Reviews took careful notes during Arianna Huffington‘s keynote speech about treating book reviews as “conversation starters.”

Huffington began by urging the audience to stop worrying about the death of traditional publishing: “Heraclitus, one of my favorite Greek philosophers said ‘You can’t enter the same river twice,’” she explained.

Huffington also explored the idea behind The Huffington Post books section, rejecting “this magical pub date”– the traditional time-period for scheduling book reviews and running book tours. “Forget about it–the idea that you have three weeks between pub date and oblivion. It doesn’t have to be like that,” she said, earning a smattering of applause.

Finally, she addressed the a perennial criticism that many writers on the site don’t get paid. “Self expression is the new entertainment,” she explained. “We never used to question why people sit on the couch for seven hours a day watching bad TV. Nobody ever asked, ‘Why are they doing that for free?’ We need to celebrate that moment rather than question it.”

What do you think?

EDITOR’S NOTE: In an earlier edition of this post, a GalleyCat transcription error mistakenly attributed the Heraclitus quote to Herodotus.

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