Thursday, May 08, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Manual Labor

This week's BTT topic:
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?

Do I read them? No, not since my undergraduate days. (Back when they used to teach you how to write with quill pens!) I know there've been several very popular recent books on writing, and I've glanced at a couple in the bookstore, but haven't read any of them.

How many do I have in my library? Well, make that our library, and the answer is lots, especially if you include things like books on literary theory, grammatology, etc. M. taught college English for many years, so over time we've acquired quite a few various guides, dictionaries, books on rhetoric, and the like. (My favorite was always the compact edition of the OED with its little built-in drawer housing the magnifying glass you need for reading the entries.)

And since we were both English majors and both find it almost impossible to part with a book, we've still got a lot of the texts we used back in the day. But it's been a while since I curled up on a winter's day with a cuppa tea and my old copy of Strunk & White.


  1. I still sit down with my old copy of Wren and Martin and Roget's Thesaurus!

    My BTT post!

  2. Oh yes, I loved that edition of the OED. How lucky you are to have a copy. I mentioned the OED in front of a young teacher on Tuesday evening and she said, "What's that?" Oh well!

  3. I do like to read dictionaries - quite sad I suppose.

    I try to sort out books I think I'll never read again, but I find it almost impossible to get rid of any books.

  4. I have never heard of that OED with the build in drawer. It sounds so fun so of course now I want one. Will I ever open the drawer and actually read the book? Probably not! But still I want it.

  5. When I was growing up we had an OED abridged--no drawer and magnifying glass, but we sure enjoyed going through things and finding things in it! The etymology is so interesting!

  6. Sometimes I think just having those books is comfort enough. Just in case you ever want/need them. Reading them ... well, their there for reference aren't they, not reading cover to cover?


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