Monday, January 16, 2006

'Are Men Necessary?' ...

Last month, as I was shopping for dad for mom (he was in the hospital, she was deserving of Christmas presents, I was the one to shop), I participated in a bit of what my cousin Patty and I like to call "Merry Christmas to me!"

At Barnes & Noble, I treated myself to a couple of books, one of which was Maureen Dowd's "Are Men Necessary?", which was excerpted in the New York Times magazine a couple months ago and which caused quite a stir. I blogged about it myself.

I noticed, though, that some of the pages had dark edges along the top. Picture pages? Nope. Pages on which the registration was off. Pages which were inserted into the book upside down. In reverse order.

Huh. I have a book that has some of the pages out of order, but I've never run across a book with such a glaring binding mistake. Not wanting a book that I'd have to read standing on my head in a Middle Eastern country, I asked Patty, since she's in the publishing biz, if I should keep it as a collectible or return it to the store. She suggested returning it, saying that the publisher would want to know of the gaffe.

So that's what I did. (And while I was there, picked up a very cool calendar featuring black and white shots of Paris, not that I'm a huge fan of France, but the pictures are pretty, and through a bit of computing weirdness - which even the manager was aware of, as she was handling my exchange - the calendar cost me a whopping 34 cents. Oddly enough, I did not have exact change.)

Before I returned the book, I read up to page 81. If I had to wager, I'd say Dowd will deliver us to the end of the book and confess that she fully believes that men are necessary, that she was just trying to be provocative with the title. Not that authors always come up with their own titles, but I suspect she did.

So, as soon as I finish "A Girl Named Zippy," I'll return to Dowd's dissection of the necessity of men. I'll let you know how it goes.

Personally, I'd vote to keep 'em around. Who else is going to make my coffee and bring it to me in the bathroom while I put on my makeup?

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