On the back cover of yesterday's New York Times Book Review, author James Patterson took out a striking full-page ad that reads in part, "The Federal Government has stepped in to save banks, and the automobile industry, but where are they on the important subject of books? Or, if the answer is state and local government, where are they? Is any state doing anything? Why are there no impassioned editorials in influential newspapers or magazines? Who will save our books? Our libraries? Our bookstores?"
He also listed 38 titles ranging from All the President's Men and To Kill a Mockingbird to A Fan's Notes and Maus, saying, "If there are no bookstores, no libraries, no serious publishers with passionate, dedicated, idealistic editors, what will happen to our literature? Who will discover and mentor new writers? Who will publish our important books? What will happen if there are no more books like these?"