175 Words

Yesterday I wrote three book reviews: The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup, by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey; Damnation Street, by Andrew Klavan; and Soccer against the Enemy, by Simon Kuper. Anyone who writes for publication knows that the challenge isn’t writing something that’s long enough – it’s writing something that’s short enough. Because we want to review a lot of books in the print Booklist, reviews are, with some exceptions, only 175 words long. When I’m, as they say, “feeling it,” I write short, putting in only what’s necessary to the review. On off days, I put in too much and agonize over what to take out. In The Thinking Fan’s Guide, for example, I wanted to note that most essays aren’t written by natives of the countries under discussion – and point out that half the contributors have written for Granta, where one of the editors is an editor. But there were more important things to say. For purposes of illustration, this blog entry is, you guessed it, 175 words long.

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

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