The Bookish Fox

How Editors Read for Fun

The other day, I was Voxing with one of my clients, and she asked me how I read for fun as an editor.

It isn’t easy.

When I am reading a book, even from a traditional publisher, it is hard for me to not notice errors. This is especially true while I am copyediting a book. It is a serious bummer because a misplaced comma can really pull me out of the flow of the story. When I am developmentally editing a book, I can’t help notice all the plot holes or weak characters.

Okay, I notice those things whether I am in the middle of a developmental edit or not. My husband gets annoyed with me because I am always ruining movies or shows for him. The latest casualty is “San Junipero” from Black Mirror (the ending doesn’t make sense with what has been established with the Kelly #sorrynotsorry). 

When I first started working as an editor, I was worried that this would ruin my joy of reading. But it hasn’t. I found a way to turn it off.


I do a transition activity between my work day and reading. If I have been editing all day, I will take my dog on a walk or watch reality TV (something that doesn’t really have a narrative in the same way as a scripted show). After about an hour, I can read a book without analyzing it too much.

Sure, it isn’t perfect. But if the editor pops up, I tell her to shut up. Then I keep reading.

Because, honestly, noticing a typo isn’t as important as getting lost in a new world when you are reading for fun. 

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