Returning to the Beginning

I cheated a little– on Wednesday, rather than staying in Manchester or going up to Hanover for the final reading location, I popped over to Portsmouth to see Jane. With my girlfriend only an hour away, it was too tough to resist. During our drive, Callie began to tremble and cough, and the “Service Engine Soon” light popped on. Come on, we urged her, just a little farther and then you can rest.  We were thinking the same to ourselves, of course.

Callie completed the trip, but I thought it best to take her into an auto repair place early the next morning.  The mechanics couldn’t figure out what error code had caused the “Service Engine Soon” light to come on, even after I suggested “sounding about to break down” as an appropriate code, so they couldn’t do anything with her for a moment.  After just a little wheedling, I convinced Jane to let us borrow her car, Budgie, to travel up to Hanover that afternoon.  And so Callie got her long-promised rest, and we headed northwest with a substitute friend.

It was a day of five bookstores, strangely enough.  Before we’d set out, we stopped by RiverRun and the brand-new Sheafe Street Books in Portsmouth.  Then, on the way, we visited Old and Used Books in Northwood, an irresistible place crammed with reasonably priced books.  We took a peek in the Borders in Concord and signed a few copies of our book, and then our journey ended at the Dartmouth Bookstore in Hanover, New Hampshire.  For both of us, it was the first time visiting campus since the original typo hunt, and it being the eve of the annual bonfire on the Green and other Homecoming activities, there were already plenty of people coming into town.

Unfortunately for us, that didn’t translate into a big crowd for our tour finale– Dartmouth’s recognition of our visit was pretty pathetic, so most people didn’t even know about our reading.  We were lucky enough to have some friends come out, though, including the D staffer who wrote this nice review of the book the other week, and Benjamin’s thesis advisor, Professor Ackerman, who caught a typo during our visit back in 2008.  Look at all the linking I’m doing; maybe I’ve got this internet thing figured out after all!  Ho, ho!

We headed out for dinner with the professor afterward, and drinks with our friend Xander after that, and then it was just a little too late at night to crash the house that Benjamin’s friend had offered us for shelter, so we headed over to White River Junction to catch some winks at a low-grade motel and then send Benjamin on a train to D.C. the following morning, for the Rally to Restore Sanity.

I drove Budgie back to Portsmouth this morning after dropping Benjamin off– I support the rally with an eager heart, but I just don’t have another trip in me at this point.  There’s a certain lady that I owe some considerable catching up to, and I intend to relax and enjoy the last gasp of autumn in my new home, walking over the leaf carpets in the little town by the sea.  This concludes our tour blog, but we might have a little more to say.

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5 Responses to Returning to the Beginning

  1. Hooray! I wrote 3 books that were also published by Crown. The first, in 1975 I persuaded my editor to let me do the final reading of the camera-ready copy to be sure it was all perfect. They groaned, but I insisted, and did it in their office in NY. I also jave often done proofreading of graduate papers and am horrified that they all rely on spell check and are WRONG! If you have a personal email address, I would like to send you my flyer “you really need a proofreader because…”

  2. Christine C., Dallas says:

    Congratulations on completing the tour, Jeff & Benjamin! I wish I could have been at the Rally to Restore Sanity, too, but you guys have put in yeoman’s service in restoring sanity to at least the grammar/punctuation portion of America! Best wishes to both of you —

  3. Meg55 says:

    I’ve just borrowed your book from the library. I haven’t read it yet but a quick scan of the photos is enough to convince me that we’re perhaps no worse but certainly no better than you in the US. You need a law degree to make coffee these days and it’s hard to buy a salad that doesn’t include mind-altering substances. Its got my knicker’s in a twist, as they say here, and my parents’ will be rolling in there grave’s. Our movies are great. You should watch In My Father’s Den, a very good adaptation of Maurice Gee’s novel. But a split-second shot of a death certificate shows they have misspelled cemetery. I could of cryed. (By the way, it’s no wonder we are going to hell in a handcart if people rely on spell-checks. ‘Cryed’ is the only word in this message that has a red line under it.)

    Do you have a New Zealand branch? If not I might start one.

    Thank you for your efforts to turn back the tide of ungrammatical and misspelled public pronouncements. You deserve a medal.

  4. A friend gave me a copy of The Great Typo Hunt for Christmas, and I loved it! Thank you for sharing your story. I’m wondering if this blog is still active, as I see the last entry is dated October 29, 2010. If not, do you have a new blog I should subscribe to?

  5. Grammar Nazi Sieg Heil says:

    @Meg55 – No, you may not start your own New Zealand branch, as you used unnecessary apostrophes in the words “knickers”, “parents”, and “graves”, (which are all plural and don’t require apostrophes, dumbass), as well as misspelling “cried” and using “could of” instead of “could have”, while you were crying about the misspelling of “cemetery”. By the way, “it’s got” is not proper English either. Just give up now, you moron, you failed miserably.

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