Bud Parr thinks so. The worth of literary blogs:

A healthy literary culture is one where not just the books with the biggest marketing budget or buzz should be publicly discussed. This, I believe is one of the greatest assets of the literary blogosphere. It is here where translation is not a dirty word. It is here where the publicity schedule means little. It is here where literary authors from independent presses get equal or better attention than whatever hotty the New York Times is billowing about this week to accommodate the tastes of myriad general readers. This is where being bitty becomes an asset. It’s specific, it’s personal, it’s opinionated. Those traits aren’t mutually exclusive with being critical; in fact they are the very assets that gives criticism life and probably why so many professional writers are finding themselves writing online, inviting comments from their readers, discovering others who happen to share their interests, no matter how specific.

Couldn't agree more. The ridiculous Hollywood-style roll-out of books - in which they have seven days to make it, or else - does not reward reading or writing. It rewards marketing. The blogosphere can give books - especially those with more to say than gimmicks to flaunt - the time and space to breathe and gain discerning readers. Watch this space over the coming weeks for an attempt to do this some more.

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