TLS vs. LRB
Surely there is no contest, no case to answer? The Times Literary Supplement (TLS) is older than the hills. It is run, albeit indirectly, by Rupert Murdoch. It comes out weekly, so you get double the fun. And yet.
The London Review of Books (LRB) has been around a very long time, and is endorsed by venerable Yorkshireman Alan Bennett. They have a long-term deal to publish his sporadic diaries.
The LRB feels more political to me, whereas the TLS at least tries to stay on message. And the message is books and arts, but more on books. Sometimes you cannot find a book review in the LRB unless you are patient and make it to the end, just before the classifieds.
I feel that the TLS is more international in scope and ambition. The LRB, as you might expect, has a very London flavour to it.
- If you are short of time, choose LRB as it is fortnightly
- For the same reason, the LRB is also cheaper
- And you have to pay more to TLS to get the digital version on top of the paper one, whereas there is only one LRB price for everything
- The LRB app is better, at least on Android, although TLS is available on the Kindle Store and gives a better Android experience than the official TLS app, which has to be sourced from the Amazon Store. If you are already confused, get the LRB.
- You can get either or both from your local library
- So why would anyone get a TLS subscription? Because it is the TLS.