How My Job Ruins Reading

As any of you who know me know, I love to read. Books are the love of my life after my kids and husband. A good book is one of my very favorite things. Almost a year ago, I took a job with the Court of Appeal. My job, as a Judicial Assistant, is to proofread opinions. I have to look for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and citation. I love my job. But. It has made me a little more than OCD when I read.

Because I read on my nook when I can’t sleep, I read a lot of free books. Some of them are self-published. And, evidently, self-edited. And poorly, at that. I have found more errors in the last five or six books I have read than I have in a long time. Some of the errors are small-a misplaced comma or a missing comma. But some of the errors are larger, and more annoying. Like use of “plaintiff” when the author clearly meant “plaintive”. These errors annoy me because it takes me out of the story. I get suck on the error.

This has me wondering if there are book editors as a professional career any more. I know most people probably don’t think much about it. But editing is an important job. Word choice, punctuation, sentence structure…..these are things that can make or break whether a person stays with a book or stops reading.

My job has made me hyper-aware of errors and it actually annoys me so much. So, my job has ruined my ability to read without noticing errors.

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