“Silence of the Lambsr” Typos in Ebooks

I will always be the first to jump in line to support e-readers and the various formats of ebooks, but the medium isn’t perfect.

I recently finished A Clockwork Orange (there will be a post about that eventually) and have now started reading Silence of the Lambs. Like A Clockwork Orange I had seen the movie ages ago but have never read the book until now. Unfortunately, ever chapter break has the title of the book in large, bold letters saying ‘Silence of the Lambsr’. Notice the r? This typo is paired with another anomaly that is a question mark that shows up between seemingly random words. It doesn’t effect the legibility of the book, and was only a minor annoyance.

I have read ebooks with this problem a hundred times worse than here. I once had a copy of a book where all instances of ‘th’ became ‘w’. You can already imagine how confusing that would be. Although rare, I have downloaded books that ended up being completely unreadable. I once got so fed up with my copy of Game of Thrones that I was about ready to open up the file and edit out all the errors myself. 

There are many different methods to copy an old paperback into an Epub or PDF format, and sometimes the data has to be copied over by hand. When this is done by the lowest bidder, you end up with books that give you headaches. Project Gutenberg, well known for their attempt to copy all those ancient texts into digital copies and give them out for free online, does its best to keep their files free of errors but it can even happen to them. As time goes on, quality control will end up being the most important aspect of transcribing ebooks.

Any of you encountered errors in your ebooks? Were they funny or confusing ones, or just book breaking ones?


About Albedosrighthand

A young writer who treads the line between gamer and literary nutball.
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6 Responses to “Silence of the Lambsr” Typos in Ebooks

  1. This kind of shit infuriates me, especially when it comes from mega-publishers. If a self-published author can polish his/her work until it’s free from typos, why the hell can’t whoever has the rights to Lord of the Rings? You always run into these crazy nonsensical formatting errors that don’t even make sense. Like, every third capital T is rendered as “T^2r” and ampersands are rendered as page-breaks. It’s maddening.

    • They shouldn’t even be happening in books released by mega publishers. All it would take is for one person to scan through it. A little quality assurance never hurts.
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Dan says:

    I’ve never run into this in books purchased through Kindle or iBooks. Where I most often see it is in self-published titles or from smaller publishers. It might not be a proofreading thing at all. It seems to be that it could be a coding error that carries through the entire book.

    • Good point. I’ll try sideloading it onto some other thing such as my phone and see if I still get it.

    • I run into it a lot with books that have been in print a long time, and are now in e-book form. A lot of the time it makes me think that the publisher has some kind of automated process dumping old backlist titles to e-book form, and they don’t bother spending the time/money to double-check the results.

      • As a funny addition. On the same page halfway through the book, the top of the page says ‘Dr. Lecter’, but near the bottom he is referred to as ‘Dr. Letter’.

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