Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reading and Wondering and Feeling Bewildered

I've been reading so much the past few weeks. I'm loving the reading but hating the quality of the actual books I'm holding in my hands. One was so riddled with typos and extra words I'm not sure there was a copy editor assigned to it at all! Another has the text printed crooked as though it's melting toward the edges for the first several pages. (maybe it's not that bad, but it is noticeably crooked) This was not done for effect. It's just poorly printed. There are also pages in that one where the print is faded or smeared. I expect the whole book to fade before long, much like the old thermal fax paper. "READ IT NOW! SPECIAL EDITION -- PRINTED WITH DISAPPEARING INK!"

I feel so bad for these authors. And the editors, agents, and publishers, too, to be honest! I wonder how any of the books currently being printed can survive to become classics on someone's bookshelf. Will these books even last 10 or 20 years?

I didn't buy these books from some cut-rate internet book seller. I bought them at a national chain. Shame on me for not buying from my local indie. I know and I agree but I was in a hurry trying to gather books for vacation. Next round will come from Book People, I promise. The point is that these were not books that were meant to be destroyed because the printing went wrong. They were meant to be sold that way! Well, probably not the first one because at first glance, you wouldn't notice anything wrong with that one. It didn't have a printing issue -- it had a copy editing, or lack thereof, issue.

This makes me sad and angry and frustrated. It's hard enough to convince people to pay full price for a book as it is. Then when a full price copy looks like these, it's just disheartening.

I'm overly sentimental. I'm a sap. I'm too traditional about some things. I know all that. I hate the thought of an eReader and am resisting to the bitter end, but seeing this nonchalant, careless, toss-it-to-the-market-and-to-Hell-with-quality trend is hard to stomach.

Am I alone in this? Is anyone else as stunned by seeing this lately? Is it out of the publisher's hands? Are they so much at the mercy of overseas printers? I fear that may be the case with the poor print job. But what about he lack of copy editing? It wasn't just one or two words. It was prevalent throughout the book. Surely that should have been avoidable.

Quality of printing aside, here is a list of my recent reads (all recommendable for quality of the story itself):

IF I STAY
MY BIG FAT MANIFESTO ** Love This One! **
THE ABSOLUTE TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN

Currently reading 13 REASONS WHY.

I may have already mentioned them but earlier in the summer I read:

WINTERGIRLS
THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH

All good books and worth a read.

Happy Reading (and ranting) To All!

P.S. No need to tell me I already mentioned all of these books. I know. I just like plugging books at every given opportunity. So go buy them and read them.

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