May 08, 2008

BTT-Manual Labor

Writing guides, grammar books, punctuation how-tos . . . do you read them? Not read them? How many writing books, grammar books, dictionaries–if any–do you have in your library?

In elementary school, my favorite subject, that I earned consistently good grades in, was English, which really meant Grammar. But as I teach my own children how to write properly, and as I write in this public forum regularly, I come to realize just how lousy my early education was in this area.

I cannot say that I read writing and grammar manuals but I have been collecting them for the last year. Besides the dictionary which I use monthly, not to mention Dictionary.com which is a weekly stop, I have glanced through only one manual so far but I keep picking them up and setting them in my reading area for the right moment. I hope to participate in the NaNoWriMo again this year but this time I'm going to complete the challenge so I need to prepare as much as I can. Maybe I will make it my summer reading goal to get through 2-3 of these books while lounging by the pool. These are the titles that I found on my shelves:

  • The Elements of Style, 3rd ed.
  • The Art of Creative Writing
  • Woe is I
  • Building Fiction
  • Writing about Literature
  • Writing Without the Muse
  • The Lively Art of Writing
  • The Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus
  • Encyclopedia Britannica Dictionary

8 comments:

Trish said...

I have Elements of Style and Woe is I on my shelf as well. Another one I have is The Dictionary of Disagreeable English--kind of a guide of the proper usage of words. For a while I had a ton of English usage books on my wishlist, but that ship has sailed (for now).

BookGal said...

The only thing I could find was a dictionary. I haven't read anything on writing in years.

Rhinoa said...

I think the only book I have read in this category would be East, Shoots & Leaves which was fun.

Susie said...

Completing NaNoWriMo is such a big goal to have - I wish you the very best in doing that this year! I've signed up for it a couple of years, only to decide that I didn't have the time it would require.

I hope you'll share your novel with us when it is available! :)

Petunia said...

Trish-I'm curious about words but I'm bored too. It's not a passion for me.

Bookgal-Probably two years ago I could have said the same thing.

Rhinoa-I want to read that one. It sounds entertaining.

Susie-I only got 10% done last year. Writing novels is not easy. But when I'm a published author I'll be sure to send you an ARC. =)

cj said...

You'll have to remind me that you're doing NaNo a little closer to November and I'll add you as a friend. It will be my fifth year and I've finished three of the previous four tries.

And your reference library seems terrific!

cjh

Lenore said...

I actually have a lot of writing books since grammar is my passion and copywriting my job.

Elements of Style
Lapsing into a Comma by Walsh
The Copyeditor's Handbook by Einsohn
AP Stylebook and Libel Manual
Artful Sentences: Syntax as style by Tufte
Words that work by Luntz

Plus a ton of books on advertising copywriting, a ton of books about writing children's picture books, and a ton about writing fiction (favorites being Stephen King's On Writing and Reading like a Writer by Francine Prose).

I guess I need to get these all up on LibraryThing soon!

Thanks for the inspiring post!

Petunia said...

CJ-Cool! I hope to feel the elation of completing the challenge and writing an actual novel this year. It must be exhilarating.

Lenore-thanks for the suggestions. I've read a little of the Prose book but then I had to return it to the library. I'll have to give it a second go about.