Prompted by his recent piece in The Dabbler, I decided to improve my ornithological knowledge by reading Tim Birkhead’s The Wisdom Of Birds. And lo! that is how I began my Easter Sunday on this sunny morning, to the sound of cawing crows outside.
I am afraid to say I am ready to hurl the book across the room in exasperation. This is an expensive and lavishly-produced Bloomsbury book, and by page 18 I have fought my way past no fewer than three howling typos: a missing indefinite article on page 2, “who” for “how” on page 6, and “know” for “known” on page 18. This is proofreading-by-spellcheck, and it simply isn’t good enough.
I shall persevere, for the time being. But this slipshod approach fatally undermines the pleasure of reading, for me. Tim Birkhead has been ill-served by his publishers. I’d insist on getting the whole print-run pulped and starting again, with a competent copy editor.
UPDATE : Still on page 18, and another one! – “principle” where what is meant is “principal”.
I’ve known many book readers in my life and their response to reading a book that annoyed them in some way has always been to threaten to propel it violently across the room.
Does it help?