Early this week, I settled in to read a book, which let's call "The Book of Errors" for the moment. I was unsure initially, because the principle theme of the book is that of religion - something I rarely read about and am barely curious of other than for checking some specifics or tragic happenings in Wikipedia. But then The Book of Errors is about extreme obsession with religion and about a major tragedy related to it. So I was piqued, I was curious about the said incident because apparently everyone had heard about it and I had no idea. Of course, I could still wiki, but when there's a book on it, who needs wiki?
This began to turn into a contest of Catch Me (the typo) If You Can.
This isn't the first book I'm reading with typos. I've read published books with the occasional typo. And I've read a few ARCs, with a little more than that occasional typo. But this is the first time, I'm coming across a whole lot of them in one book. I was very disappointed. The author had published another book previously which, although I haven't read it, had received some good reviews. And The Book of Errors is also well-written - featuring some good research, good pacing, fascinating build-up, and I can't wait to see how this ends in tragedy.
I love reading ARCs as much as the next reader. There's something about holding a fresh-off-the-press copy in your hand, that will not be published until days or weeks or months later, and trying to figure out if it's going to make people rave about it or not. The downside with reading an ARC, however, is that they are not finished copies. Some of my favorite sections in a book - the Preface, the Afterword, even the Acknowledgments sometimes, could be missing. Whole sections or chapters may be changed when the book finally comes out for publication (although I haven't directly heard of this), and there is no saying what level of proofreading has been done by the time my copy was printed. There could be some good volume of errors in the ARC or there could be next to none.
I read for the reading experience. And that means, I expect a whole lot from the book I'm reading, especially language. And although I try not to pick on the typos in an ARC and just focus on the general writing and the flow of the book, sometimes it isn't possible, like with The Book of Errors. At some point, the obsessive English tutor in my head starts brandishing her red pen and virtually scratching across the pages. At that point, I know, ARC or not, my reading experience will be heavily influenced by the issues I have with it. That's usually the time to let go.
Since this is my general reaction to a book peppered with typos, I didn't want to reveal the real name of the book that had sprung this reaction in me lately. If I finish The Book of Errors, I'll review it, in which I will mention about the typos.