The joy of reading
A copper bottomed read.
What spoils the joy of reading
Having acquired a Kindle I am now being introduced to so many authors that I had previously never come across. My experimental reading used to be by buying books from charity shops to ‘test drive’ a writer and if I find one that my life experience/imagination resonates with – I will then seek out that author in book shops and add to the collection. If a book is particularly well written I will read it several times and perhaps now that I am getting older and the memory is not quite so good – it is read with new and fresh interest – such as the re-reading of ‘The Lady of Hay’ by Barbara Erskine. http://www.barbara-erskine.co.uk/index.htm
Now what spoils my joy of reading is this – bad grammar, obvious and very weak plots and most of all lack of editorial support. I have just finished a book that I was seduced into ‘buying’ from Amazon because it was ‘free’. BIG MISTAKE – I just cannot believe that anyone would publish such a shockingly ‘put together’ book. It was a vague period piece that had items of furniture that would not have existed at the time. The same descriptions rolled out over and over again – the wrong words used i.e. ‘he flicked an errand curl from her face’. I read a piece recently posted on facebook about editorial support for writers. This book was an absolute classic – in fact I can imagine that an editor might even refuse to start because it was riddled, from start to finish, with absurd mistakes.
Out of curiosity I ‘googled’ the author and found that he has published as an ‘indie’ and there are a number of his books with equally lurid titles. Why did he not just pay the fee and get an editor/proof reader to go through the book before sending it out there – even for free. What absolutely astounded me was that he also offered to give potential writers guidance on how to write a book!
Our own experience of having someone ‘proof read’ is that we too, despite very careful writing can make hideous mistakes. My previous blog about finding art is a classic example. A one time teacher friend, read my blog and was most amused that I had used the words gorilla gardeners instead of guerrilla as a suggestion for resolving the budget constraints of Pembrokeshire council and their shockingly neglected gardens. None of us had noticed this error, which incidentally I have corrected. However I liked the play on words and the idea of gorillas doing gardening in Haverfordwest – taking a dig at some neanderthals who might be required to undertake community service. In fact, now I come to think about it, the other sort ‘guerrilla gardeners’ could act as supervisors and thus save the council the hassle of having to organise and pay for such a project themselves and continue to waste money on civic bun fights.
There is an interesting event going on about editing – The Literary Consultancy – 27th October – interesting people talking like Carole Blake: https://literaryconsultancy.co.uk/event/do-writers-need-editors/
I digress – back to the topic.
The importance of an editor to enhance the joy of reading
Proof reading is something that we all need and an experienced ‘reader’ and editor is vital to make sure that what you write is actually what you mean. How many times has one little word been left out of a sentence that changes the meaning from negative into positive – ‘not’ – is one such little word that can change a sentence and its meaning so dramatically. And going back to the eBay topic – well this was actually on our on-line shop – we once made the mistake of putting the price of a dress as being reduced from £1450 to £1. This was very quickly picked up by someone who bought the dress (we honoured it because it was our mistake) and then she returned it because it did not fit – that was her mistake. However it does emphasise the need to get someone else to go over things. What compounds the problem is that we read what we think we are reading and do not check or even recognise really huge ‘bloomers’. That is the peculiar skill of an editor and proof reader.
Now I have to abandon the joy of reading and get on with putting things on eBay
A combination of silk and buttons. A pleated silk scarf wrapped around a unique necklace made out of buttons.
By the end of next week we will not longer be the owners of ‘the workhouse’. We are staying on as tenants, but the responsibility of the rest of the site will no longer be ours which is a great relief because we want to spend more time finishing our folly by the sea rather than dealing with the derelict parts of the site.
A length of cotton velvet fabric – hand painted and then printed with a design we call mediaeval leaf and over printed with a crackle design.