• Mark Allen

Copy editors no longer need to keep paper books on hand

This column appeared in the September-October newsletter of the American Copy Editors Society.

I visited a transferring co-worker to wish her well and to see what I could liberate from her cube after she left. The pickings were slim, sadly, except for an impressive Random House Webster’s Unabridged. I considered how it would look in my cube, but I left empty-handed. My cubicle remains devoid of reference books.

In my home office, I keep plenty of books in a small bookshelf next to my desk, but I rarely miss them when I’m at my in-house freelancing job. Even in my last newspaper job, the Webster’s New World College Dictionary stayed in pristine condition and the AP Stylebook was rarely touched.