The New York Times, which has resisted such fads as cross-word puzzles, comics, colored rotogravure sections, and scandal columnists, has finally decided that a daily column devoted to book criticism shall appear. Starting September 5, John Chamberlain will conduct such a signed column for five days each week; on the sixth day the column will appear under the name of R. H. Van Gelder. The latter has been the anonymous writer of the daily book news this past year. Mr. Chamberlain was formerly assistant literary editor of the Sunday Times book section but, more recently, has been connected with the Saturday Review of Literature. The publishers are delighted. Since the demise of the much-lamented World, only the Herald Tribune has been carrying book reviews in the morning.
If the code proposed by the book-sellers is adopted, Harry Scherman and his Book-of-the-Month Club are going to find the going exceedingly tough. Under the present proposed code no bookseller will be permitted to sell under the marked price and he will not be allowed to give away books as a premium for the purchase of other books. The Book Club has made the premium book idea one of the major points of its selling methods.
GOSSIP OF A SORT
Sam Ornitz, who is editing the autobiography of the late Rose Pastor Stokes, has returned form Hollywood for a short visit…. Lee Chumley, whose restaurant in Greenwich Village is the talking place of many of New York’s liberals, will hand customers menues, the backs of which will contain a jacket of Arthur Garfield Hays’s forthcoming book, “Trial by Prejudice” The book contains, besides other examples of miscarriages of justice, a resume of the famous Frank case, which brought American Jewry to its feet some twenty years ago…. Herbert Weinstock, former bookstore owner who was sent to Mexico to help better the cultural relationships between the countries, is on his way back to New York…. The NRA eagles or hawks may be flying around in increasing numbers but there are many authors who can’t seem to find the golden eggs the bird is said to have laid. One Jewish gentleman whose best seller led the list last winter is so broke that he took his wife and child, bought a tent, and went up into the Berkshires…. Eugene Lyons, Russian correspondent for the United Press, has nurtured the idea of writing a history of Jewish sports for nearly ten years. The book was started when Lyons was living in Sunnyside. It will be finished in time to present to Trotsky when he is appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States.