The Catalogue of Errors which I have ordered lands on the doormat. It is not a slender volume, resembling in its dimensions The New Princeton Encyclopaedia of Poetry and Poetics, which, as we all know from our bedtime reading, makes The Bible look like a leaflet.
It doesn’t really.
It doesn’t make The Bible look like anything, unless you compare the two front covers: purple, blue, yellow, black and white versus black, in which case it makes The Bible look hip, goth, emo, and slimmer than it would do in a bright summer dress.
I remove the Catalogue of Errors from its Amazon package and notice that I only had to pay £0.01 for it. Plus £17.98 for postage and packaging.
Booksellers must be wishing they were Royal Mail shareholders.
I open the Catalogue of Errors to cast my eye down the Contents page and see various chapter headings: Major Life Errors, Musical Taste Errors, Fashion Errors, Errors Which You Don’t Know You’re Making, Hair Errors, The Phil Collins Chapter, and an addendum explaining the controversy surrounding George Michael’s Beard.
There is also an Errata slip which mentions every error in the catalogue, written in Carolingian Miniscule, the only way they could fit all of the errors in.
I repackage the catalogue, print up the return barcode, and take the package to the Post Office in order for me to send it back to the bookseller.
p. 987 from the chapter “Book Purchase Errors”
“Buying this book is an error. If you want to know about all of the errors in this world, maybe pay a bit more attention to the News section of the BBC website and less time trolling the Dalai Lama’s twitter-feed.”