(N.B. 1. This journal is best viewed at a resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels or more, in a 17" or bigger monitor.)
The journal strives to spread awareness about the books, and other educational material among the citizens of the world. All categories of books are reviewed here, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, and so on. Every month thousands of new books are published, but it takes a while before people become aware of them. In several cases, they just remain unaware of these publications throughout. I have been personally handicapped by several such instances. I will tell you just one. In 1998, I went to Bijapur (a historical city in Karnataka State in India), to deliver a guest lecture, and as is my wont, was thumbing through their library books in my spare time. I was amazed to see a nice biography of Thomas Noguchi published sometime in the late seventies. It gave some of his best cases (among them the murder of Dorothy Stratten, Playboy Playmate of August 1979, who was killed by her lover Paul Snider, when she was six months short of her twenty-first birthday. I had been searching for the details of this murder investigation for quite sometime without any success!). I was completely unaware of this book for all these years, and would have given a fortune to possess this book, but alas, the book was already out of print. What pained (and annoyed) me most was that I have been frantically buying books since late sixties, and had I been aware of the existence of this book at the time it was published, I would have done anything to acquire it - even if it would have entailed writing to the publishers overseas.
As I pined for this book (and several others - "Pathology of Homicide" by Adelson is another, "Guinness Book of Crime", which I saw at the British Council Library in New Delhi another, "Poisons, Antidotes and Anecdotes" by William Tichy (Sterling Pub. Comp., New York, N.Y., 1977) still another - the list is endless), I became acutely aware that there should be some surefire and foolproof system by which people could become aware of important books and other publications soon after they came in existence. We have been running a very successful Internet Journal for quite sometime now. This has become a sine qua non for most professionals around the world (its beauty is that unlike most other online journals, it is available free online to all), and they turn back often to this journal to see what is the latest happening here. We started running book reviews in this journal and soon our book review column became a runaway success. We started getting books not only on subjects related to forensic medicine and toxicology, but on other subjects as well. This gave us an idea to start a sister publication - this journal - where books of all kinds will be reviewed. This journal can best be viewed as a forum to spread awareness.
We wrote to several authors and publishers and the response was amazing. We received books from them regularly and as they came in we got down to scanning them, sorting them, describing them. One may argue that there are several excellent sites available already on the net, where one can buy books (Amazon and Barnes and Nobles are two which are hard to beat). In that case, what is this site doing on the net? The answer is our site describes the book better than others. We specialize in detailed reviews. We also run full length interviews with new as well as established authors. This helps people get to know their authors better. It is our belief that readers get a better idea what a particular book is about when they come to this site and read reviews here. We not only reproduce front cover of the book in full color, but several important illustrations, maps, charts and diagrams from the book too. The effect is as if the reader were browsing the book in a store.
Interestingly so important are book reviews that I am aware of many hardcore scientific journals having devoted their entire issues to book reviews only, without as much as a single scientific paper in it! The best example that I can quote is The Archives of Sexual Behavior. In October 1999, their Volume 28, Number 5 was entirely devoted to book reviews! Readers can click here to visit that issue. If you need reprints of some reviews from this issue, just email me by clicking here.
How does this journal compare with reviews appearing in regular "print journals"? As can be seen, our reviews are radically different from those appearing in most "Paper journals" too. We give the front cover in high color resolution, and also some of the key diagrams, contents, tables etc in full color, which can be enlarged further at the command of the viewer. The idea is to make the reader feel as if he is thumbing through the book himself, and can take an intelligent decision regarding it. Such a thing can not always be done by print media.
We also review other allied material (Software, Multimedia, audio and video cassettes, DVDs). With time, this section also became really valuable for our readers.
What is the use of this journal? Does it have any practical utility? Well, I think if somebody had been running such a journal twenty years back, all of us would have had many more books in our collection than we have now. And probably more relevant to our tastes too!
But better late than never!
(The journal accepts important books, audio and video cassettes, software and multimedia (VHS, CDs, DVDs) related to all subjects for extensive reviews. Both technical and general books are reviewed in separate sections. The journal is visited by at least 300 persons from all over the world. The reviews are usually hosted within two weeks an item is received at the journal office. For more details please visit our FAQ section.)
Books and other items for review must be submitted at the following address.
Professor Anil Aggrawal (Editor-in-Chief)
Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Book Reviews
S-299 Greater Kailash-1