Well, fellow bibliophiles, here we are at the end of 2017 and it’s been a long while since we here at Chicago Book Review have posted a review or shared a feature story. So, it is with a heavy heart that I find it’s time to say au revoir.
Chicago Book Review began as and has always been a labor of love. When I launched the site in 2013, I had no idea what kind of response it would get, but I felt certain that there were a lot of local and regional authors and publishers who could use some help getting their books in front of the eyes of readers. I also felt sure that there were plenty of readers who love Chicago and its environs as much as I do and so would enjoy learning about books written by local authors, published by local houses, and/or written about local subjects.
Turns out I was pretty much right on this one, and Chicago Book Review was lucky enough to reach tens of thousands of readers who discovered hundreds of books and scores of authors—all of which had some sort of local or regional connection.
This success was in large part due to the reviewers I worked with, all of whom were volunteers, and with the authors and publishers who were kind enough to share their books with us. Without their contributions, I never could have made Chicago Book Review what it was, and I will be forever grateful.
But there are only so many hours in a day, and despite the many contributions from CBR’s volunteers, it takes rather a lot of time, energy, and resources to coordinate a book review. And when said book review is a labor of love, well … sometimes you’ve just got to pick which of your loves deserve the most of your labor.
So, as Tolkien wrote, “Your time may come. Do not be too sad. You cannot be always torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do.”
With that, we’ll say au revoir—at least for now. Maybe we should say à bientôt. Either way, it’s not easy, and it makes me sad. Perhaps one day we’ll be able to revive CBR. In the meantime, we’ll keep the site up so you can explore the reviews and features we’ve posted over the past few years and discover new authors … and #ReadLocal.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”