Here's a perennially useful guide for choosing what book to read next: think of a title you've long known by name but never read, go straight to a library or bookstore, get it, and read it. Through decades that guide has steered me to Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Boswell's Life of Johnson, Hugo's Les Miserables, all of Austen, Dickens, and Twain, and many, many more.

 Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

Like most writers, I'm an omnivorous reader. Friends ask me, "What are you reading now?" and I have a hard time answering because when I stop to think, I realize I'm reading a dozen books at once, dipping into this one, skimming through that one.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the single most enjoyable way to improve your writing is to read good books. Take a moment waiting for the bus one day and think, "What's a classic that I know by name but have never read?" If one strikes your fancy, get it, open it to page one, and start reading.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

When I was studying Spanish and had gotten to the point where our assignments consisted of reading real books, I kept a well-thumbed dictionary on my desk. Every paragraph seemed to contain several words that I had to look up, which was tedious and slow. Our wise teacher kept telling us that we didn't need to do that—you don't actually have to know what every word means to understand the text.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

March is National Reading Month, and to commemorate the occasion, Time's Katy Steinmetz points to some great writing in small packages. She also checks in with our sister site, Vocabulary.com, for insights into vocabulary items in the texts she has chosen.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Blog Excerpts.

Words can be thought of as historical artifacts; they carry with them a stamp of time and place, and sometimes it's important to take the long view and think about words outside their immediate context and use a broader perspective.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Wordshop.

Day after day of 90+ degree heat seems to melt our brains into neuronic mushes far too soggy for heavy reading, and we become capable only of lazing through lighter-than-air fare. A memorable New Yorker cartoon tells the story: a stern cop, looming over a sunbather reading Crime and Punishment, says, "I'm sorry, sir, but Dostoyevsky is not considered summer reading."  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 52 Articles