From The New York Times Room for Debate page
. . . if so many books are being commended, are they all commendable? It’s the perennial question of whether the blurbs on book covers are still meaningful or have become just background noise. After all, Kindle Singles are doing just fine without covers — and cover blurbs.
Do book blurbs serve readers? Do they help writers?
The opinion of the four “debaters” — Stephen King, Sophfronia Scott, Bill Morris, and Sharon Bowers — can be found here, along with those of countless New York Times readers. I found the best piece to be Sharon Bowers‘, the only non-writer out of the four. She actually had something to say about the general practice of blurbing, thus giving us readers, the audience in this great production of publishing, a peek behind the scenes of how this tiny cog in the publishing machines work. The rest blabbed about their personal experiences and left the readers to make out on their own why they should care. Stephen King, in particular, practically provided a blurb on blurbing, but I suppose that is the privilege of being M. King.