A Day in the Life: Inside the NY Times Book Review process

New York Times Book Review Editor Pamela Paul knows her books. As a matter of fact, we’d wager she even knows your books. 

Paul manages a staff of critics and even brings on freelance reviewers to surprise and delight readers of The Gray Lady’s book reviews. 

FOX 5 NY got a chance to speak with the six-time author, podcaster and mother to see her process and how she selects which books deserve your ear.

Hundreds of books come into the paper each day in hopes of being reviewed.

"We actually go through everything, which is a very labor-intensive process," Paul says.  "That means that all the books that get sent to us get some kind of look."

That look can last seconds or the book can end up getting read cover-to-cover. 

"It's a constant surprise," Paul says. 

Only one percent of all published books will make the cut to be reviewed.

"New and interesting voices is really important.  You don't want to just cover the obvious people,"  "Like any art form you want to constantly recognize innovation.  You want to recognize diversity.

Once selected, books that make the cut are moved to another area that contains hundreds of books assigned to reviewers.

"The people who get to be here really, really love books," Paul says.


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