Thursday, April 23, 2009

Messy Reading

I got a postcard with a picture of P.G. Wodehouse on it, so I made a little shrine to reading - the candle was too bright so a put a bottle in front of it. I really enjoyed the banana book and the Sedaris essays. Coal is interesting too (half done with that one.) I haven't started the Edith Wharton novel yet, but it's hard to leave a library empty handed. I have a mess of books to finish and am currently reading one I found in a dusty pile at a thrift shop. "I am Mary Dunne" a novel by Brian Moore. (1966.)

I found a typo in my copy of Stargazey... can you see it?
Typos used to really bug me when I was a teen, now I just shrug them off. I don't care. In my early twenties, I caught a typo ( one that everyone missed and it cost the company much $$$$$$$. ) I came back from vacation, glanced at a series of ads I'd had nothing to do with, and saw the same typo in the body copy of each one. I said "Er, in this sentence it says Pam Am Airlines instead of Pan Am!" To make matters worse / funnier, the head of the copy department was a woman named Pam. Ultimately, she was responsible. A dozen of her people had proofed that ad, and she had too. Proofing is not that easy.
That was the turning point for me, I began to think typos were funny little gremlins and was no longer outraged by them.

I prefer to read about crazed spring cleaning days rather than actually having one myself. Thankfully I'm married to a person who finds those super obsessively neat women boring. We like neatness, but we also like pillows and hairy pets and book piles and people hanging out. My neighbor is obsessively neat and just thinks the world of her sanitized self. It is kind of VERY uncomfortable over there, but then I'm sure she disapproves of my casual approach to cleaning and defense of certain germs.


Kurt said...

I'm not neat, but I'm orderly.

Anonymous said...

I used to have my books shelved in alphabetical order according to author but the system broke down.

Deborah Godin said...

Cleanliness around here is like the air bubble in a carpenter's level. I seesaw back and forth between messy and orderly, only passing through perfect balance on the way from one side to the other.

Ronda Laveen said...

That is quite a typo though. I wondered why he liked inhabited lice so much. That was funny story of Pam Am. Funny how the mind tricks the eye. Proofing is NOT easy.

Lol..."her sanitized self." I really should be cleaning but...

Barbara said...

I do like a casual approach to life!

Good catch on the Stargazey typo. I'm just getting to that chapter. I wonder if I would have found it.

I'm amazed at how many widely circulated books contain typos!

R.L. Bourges said...

Love your shrine - that's a Guerlain bottle, isn't it?

Never read any Sedaris but it's the kind of material I wouldn't want to read in translation. I'd spend my time trying to figure out what he really wrote in the first place.

His of lice - hm... Somebody had a mind hiccup while proofing. The Pam Am type of thing happened to me once during a huge political campaign. I wrote all the press releases, proofed them a gazillion times and so did the Chief of Staff. Sent everything to printing and when the material landed on my desk, I saw it: a glaring typo in the Minister's name. Our eyes had simply jumped over it because we knew his name and assumed we were reading it correctly.

The cleaning cartoon? That's me. Stuff piles up, spills over, you name it. Then - boom - I have to scrub the tiles in the shower this minute or I'll go nuts (meanwhile, the piles of books are still sliding off every surface in the house.) Too much neatness and cleanliness is unhealthy. Absolutely. So there.

Megan said...

Argh, another comment page that has been bloggerized and no longer allows me to view the original post as I type my comment.

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.

But could everyone please change their settings to full page rather than pop-up window? Purdy please? I think that might fix it...

Anyways. I'll be back after I read your post again and remember what I was going to say.

Megan said...

I Am Mary Dunne was one of the books I was going to send you. But I think I've found an alternate...

lettuce said...

my of lice is plenty habitable too

i heard reports yesterday of students coming in enquiring about extenuating circumstances claims as, firstly, excruciating circumstances and secondly... can't remember the second.

will come back if i do

NYD said...

a Little mess is good for you; you keep noticing it. Order, on the other hand, allows one to pass things by and never notice what's happening- because nothing ever is except for the process of keeping things tidy.

JGH said...

Oh good - I think you'd be perfectly comfortable at my house. It's just SO much easier to say "sorry my house is so messy" when people come in than to actually clean it!

lettuce said...

i found you a book-related Something at the car boot fair on Saturday.

hope to post it tomorrow

tut-tut said...

Did you know a proofreader used to be called a printer's devil? My grandmother used to do some at her father's print shop in Newark. I started out as a proofreader. It's the first rung on the ladder.

Lovely shrine; doesn't PG look content in that photo?

Sorry I haven't been around to leave comments and read. V busy round these parts.

My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)