I read a lot of books and frequently spot little glitches that have slipped through the net, such as wrong spellings or other errors. Over the last couple of weeks I have been putting those skills to more constructive use by proof-reading the manuscript of my friend, Ian Jones’ forthcoming book: The Local Church and Generational Change in Birmingham, 1945-2000 (yes, it is already available on Amazon for pre-ordering!).
In its two hundred pages, I managed to raise about thirty points for discussion. A handful of these were straightforward things that really should have been picked up by a spell-checker and a few more were the more elusive case of right words but not making sense either because of ordering or some key word being missing. Most though were at the level of style (I say evangelical but house-style says Evangelical) or layout issues that may disappear automatically with changes to earlier text (can we break the word archbishop across the line as arch- bishop and not archbish- op?).
I don’t think Ian has any expectations of this pulling in a Booker or Hugo but it is an excellent piece of social history research and was definitely interesting to read, painstaking scanning for detail notwithstanding!