I was just reading Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo, and I enjoyed it in a mild, no need to blog about it way. But all the time I was reading, I was remembering this review at By Singing Light, and in consequence was jarred every time I read "Alina Starkov," which should, if you are doing the Russian thing properly, be Alina Starkova.
And then I was browsing through the Guardian, and read Mal Peet's review of The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket, by John Boyne, and found this: "Yet, when reading a book, do you not sometimes wish you had been its editor? Had you been, in this case, you might have redacted solecisms such as the presence of foxes in Zambia or a marble sign "pinned" to a wall."
(At which point I had to look up solecisms--here. I don't think it's quite the right word, but I don't know a better one. Also I vaguely feel that there might be some sort of fox equivalent in Zambia).
But in any event, I then was reading a new book, not yet released, in which there were porcupines in Bronze Age Greece. Eek! I said to myself. Aren't porcupines New World? Turns out there's an Old World kind (example from the San Diego Zoo at right), and I feel better now about the book. Which I can now name--Gods and Warriors, by Michelle Paver. And thank goodness for the internet, says I--twenty years ago, and my only recourse would have been calling my mother.
However, nothing will erase the jarring shock that happened in a book I read a while back in which an Antiquarian book collector didn't know what "foxed" meant. How can you really look on the book favorably after that? Yet it is a small mistake, not worth mentioning in one's review...even though it had a very real effect.
Have you ever had this small mistake blotting the otherwise clear pages of a book thing happen to you?
(Edited to add: I am not, as readers of my blog might well have noticed, bothered by spelling mistakes, in large part cause I don't see them. My husband has just pointed out that there were three in this post. Sigh.)