Does spelling and grammar matter when reading a book? Are you not bothered when you see the odd grammar mistake, or does a mere apostrophe in the wrong place drive you crazy? Would it really matter to you if books are well edited or not?
Over the weekend I tried to read a science fiction novel but after getting through 70 pages I had to stop. The book wasn’t terrible, in fact the story itself seemed interesting but what spoilt my enjoyment was the lack of editing. It wasn’t just things I personally hate, such as the over use of adverbs and a general monotonous tone to the narration, but it was those silly and very avoidable mistakes, things like apostrophes and commas in the wrong places, characters suddenly being called by different names and even the odd spelling error in simple words. The more and more I read on, the more and more the book became unreadable until I finally put it down as I just couldn’t take seeing another error anymore.
I know I may be fussier than many people, but the fact is I don’t like seeing errors in books. In all the books I’ve read in the past, in the years before I started blogging, I never found more than a handful of errors, in fact it was usually just a missing full stop or quotation mark, and I honestly can say I could count the number of errors I’d spotted on one hand! Now maybe I wasn’t as observant as I am now but seeing so few errors in the past, I do find it annoying when I see more and more books filled with them these days, even the most simple ones which could be avoided. But am I the only one that feels this way?
Now, although I do have a good grasp of English grammar, I am not the grammar police, despite what I’ve said I’m not 100% perfect at grammar myself. I don’t care if people misspell things and use bad grammar in a casual sense, I also don’t mind blogs that have typos and issues because I’m guilty of it myself. I even expect some newspapers to have errors as they don’t have much time to read through before publishing. But when it comes to books I can’t help but feel that typos and grammar mistakes just shouldn’t be there and if they are it just reflects badly on the publisher or author.
From what I have seen the number of errors in books is rising, especially with more self-published and indie presses. The book I had to put down and mark as DNF (did not finish) was by a small indie publisher. I’d been given the book for a review. But now I’m left feeling frustrated because as a book blogger I have to go back to them and tell them why I couldn’t finish (do I really tell them it’s because they aren’t good at proofreading, or do I just go with the standard ‘I didn’t get along with it’ line?)
But am I being fussy for nothing? Is it just me that feels this way about books? Should we all be lenient these days when it comes to typos and grammar errors? Or does it spoil your enjoyment of a book if it’s riddled with errors?
Please let me know what you think, I’d love to hear some other opinions 🙂
Have you seen any books with errors in them, how did it make you feel? You can also find me in these places 🙂 :