Thursday, May 8, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Manual Labor

Here's this week's prompt from BTT:

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?

I've read parts of some of them, but mostly I treat them as references. Since I do most of my "real" writing on the computer, these days, with the Internet at my fingertips, I tend to look up things online. Still, it's good to have a few good resources available.

Dictionaries-- At least 2 in English. One nice, hardcover "collegiate" dictionary I was awarded at the end of high school (for participation in an honors program). One tattered paperback that got me through high school! At least 2 in Swedish. A French-English/English-French dictionary that hasn't been used in years. A Swedish-English/English-Swedish dictionary that also hasn't seen much recent use.

Writing Books-- I can think of about four right now. There may be more. Most of them were purchased (very cheaply) second-hand, and to tell the truth, I haven't read much of them, yet. Maybe someday. One is the well-known Elements of Style; the others are guides for writing more specific types of fiction.

Grammar Books-- I know of at least one on my shelves-- a "commonsense" guide written by one of my college professors. (My copy's an earlier edition than the one linked, of course.) I enjoyed his class and thought the book was useful enough to be worth keeping. I hardly ever open it, these days, but if I ever want to be certain that my grammar's correct, I know where to look.

Then there are several related books-- a thesaurus (one book I've actually used, along with the tattered paperback dictionary) and four books of quotations (one in Swedish). Oh, and I have a handful of books about Swedish grammar and usage, too. . . We have at least one dictionary of names, also.

Mostly these books just take up shelf space, but they have the potential to be useful, so we keep them. ;o)