Book Review: The Pocket Book of Proofreading by William Critchley Skip to content

Review: The Pocket Book of Proofreading by William Critchley

The Banner for a book review of The Pocket Book of Proofreading by William Critchley. Several fiction books make up the background.

(soooo, there’s no blurb on Goodreads or Amazon (unless you count what’s essentially a review on the latter))

A photo of The Pocket Book of Proofreading by William Critchley on top of an hand-edited draft, and a red pen on the book.

What I thought:

You know, I’ve read a fair few books on writing and editing, but this is possibly the first one that reminds you to step away and take a break if needed. Because you’re human and it’s totally fine to need some time away from work.

That was early on, and we got on well after that!

I always struggle to review theory books, because it’s not like I can comment on the plot or the world-building or the loss of a map. Don’t you? :/

The Pocket Book of Proofreading isn’t just a book on proofreading, but it’s a book on freelance proofreading. Critchley gives advice on how to find work and how to get started as a proofreader. It’s honest but encouraging, too.

There’s a link to a proofreading course so you can test your skills for free, as well as practice exercises and answers inside the book.

I borrowed this one from my library, but I’m quite tempted to buy my own copy. It’s not a new book anymore (published 2007) so I worry that parts of it will be outdated now. There have got to be up-to-date guides out there, right? Sadly, there’s no updated version of this, but if you know of a good alternative…

I’d still recommend this to anyone considering freelance proofreading as a potential career. It may be 11 years out of date, and yes, the industry has changed a bit in that time, but most of what Critchley has to say is transferable. The first half would also be useful for anyone wanting a proofreading guide for their own work.

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Have you read The Pocket Book of Proofreading, or are you tempted? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

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