BY JUDGE RUFUS PECKHAM - The New York Times must get a lot of free books.

Just yesterday I learned that they publish an entire magazine of book reviews every Sunday. I was unaware of this publication until a reader forwarded one to my attention. I have not had the time to read it, unfortunately, but I conclude it leaves much to be desired.

You see, the sole point of a review is to tell the reader whether a book is good or bad. At most, a review should only comprise one sentence and no more than seven words (the lone exception that comes to mind is Websters Unabridged Dictionary -- see my review from last January).

Regrettably, the Times' writers must enjoy their own banal prose because these reviews are hundreds of times too long. Moreover, they are replete with irrelevancies, such as plot summaries and thematic analysis.

In short, the Times reviewers steal from the very books they purport to review; there is no other way to put it. This, of course, is violative of United States copyright laws and various related ordinances which are beyond the scope of this essay.

Be that as it may, it must be conceded that the reviews are shorter than the books by several orders of magnitude, and therefore provide an invaluable service to high-powered executives who have no time to squander on reading or the like. Accordingly, I suggest you skip the books and read this little rag instead.

In one sentence: Three stars.