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12 May 2008


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Actually, it's not funny -- I see that in library books a lot, which make me wonder why these people just don't go into copy editing -- for a profession. Because I doubt REAL editors are wasting their lives marking up freakin' library books.


Isn't that something. For some reason, half of the alternate histories at my library are marked up, too. One person I can see, but can two people possibly have that much time to waste? And here I thought I had no life.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden

It's true; some people don't understand privileged first-person voice, some people don't understand alternate history, and some people freelance their cluelessness in multiple areas of life.

At any rate, as the editor of FARTHING I would be happy to provide the Portland public library with an undefaced copy, if someone were to suggest an effective means of getting it to them. I can be emailed at [email protected].


Wow. "Correcting" the names really defeats the whole purpose of an alternate history. Where DO these people come from?

PS - glad to hear you liked Farthing. I'm looking forward to the third installment.


*gasp!* There's going to be a third? Yippy-skippy!

Maybe your pen-happy patron is trying to build up a professional portfolio? "If you'll look at the Portland Library's copy of Farthing..."

Martin Wisse

At least this vandalism is mildly amusing, if incredibly annoying. What I hate are the gormless wonders who feel the need to underline every second sentence in a non-fiction book -- in ink of course. Or the ones who feel the need to translate such difficult words as "country" or "nationalism" into Dutch in the margins --again in ink.


Wow. That's even worse than the library book I read (or, rather, tried to read) in which some previous patron had marked out every single "offensive" word with a Sharpie.


Sarah: Ha! Maybe...

Martin: That's AWFUL. I've come across a few like that at the library. And after getting stuck with a few heavily underlined books, I'm much more careful about flipping through before making my purchase at used book stores!

Mimi: Actually, I think you win -- at least the jerk in this case used a pencil.

There are some cases where I don't mind people editing library books (especially in pencil) -- if a page number is wrong in the index, for instance. I don't find that distracting or offensive.

But the person who did this was in the wrong, big time -- I got the feeling that s/he wanted to prove to the world that s/he was Really, Really Smart and knew a Whole Lot about British history and grammar. Bah.

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