Recently, I helped my friend Anna edit her memoir, “The Train From Greenville,” in which she recounts her trip cross-country and back again by rail.
It’s a fine piece of work, optimistic about Americans and the country, full of quiet wisdom and acute observations, and written so that readers can hear Anna’s voice on each page.
When we finished editing her book, both on the screen and in print, I suggested we read the book aloud. By reading aloud, we would not only catch more grammar and spelling errors, but would also hear when a sentence or passage was “off.” Anna lives in Western North Carolina, and I live six hours away in Virginia, so we agreed to do the reading by phone.
Though filled at first with trepidation, Anna quickly hit her stride, and twice a week, usually for 45 minutes or so, she would read while I followed along, catching a few misspellings and grammar errors, with Anna adding some changes to the text.