On the Same Page: You, Me, and the Style Guide

I really love the left-brain/right-brain duality of editing. It’s both prescriptivist and descriptivist. It’s a puzzle and yet has the same elements. Every project’s different … and every project’s the same—in that it has a need for a style guide.

You’ve heard me talk about the Chicago Manual of Style. If you have a question about punctuation, grammar, construction, documentation, copyrights, indexes (and on and on and on), Chicago has the answer. If you have questions about things like gender-neutral language or even whether the apostrophe-s should be added to make the possessive of Jesus, Chicago has a well-considered opinion.

In the United States, copyeditors working in the book publishing industry live and die by the Chicago Manual of Style, which gathers together generally accepted standards and practices for editing books. (There are more specific guides for specific types of publishing. For example, the AP Stylebook governs the news media; the AMA Manual of Style governs medical publishing, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association governs just what it sounds like. There are many, many more.) These manuals document the “rules” that allow for consistency in every aspect of the written/published word.

But there’s one more step to move us from theory to reality: the editor-created style guide. When I act as a copyeditor on a manuscript,* as I work I’ll build a style guide to govern that manuscript as it makes its way to publication. The proofers, the typesetter, the managing editor … everyone will need it.

At the very least, the project-specific style guide will include a list of conventions (what sorts of words are italicized and why, for example) and a list of words that I looked up (because an editor checks, remember) in the agreed-upon dictionary (very often Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate, 11th Edition). There are always a lot of compounds on that list, because these words tend to be misspelled.

Sometimes I have to make a decision about how to deal with formatting—or any number of questions—and this will be noted on the style guide, too, along with a list of stories or people mentioned that will require a permission inquiry (this is the author’s responsibility), a list of Bible translations that were used, and any other items that need to be brought to the publisher’s (or author’s) attention.

If I’m working with an independent client, I send the style guide along with each pass; it will answer most questions that arise. And it might look something like this:

CONVENTIONS
• lowercase deity pronouns
• spell out numbers per CMS
• eliminate periods from abbreviations (DC, PhD)
• no US following “the”—spell out United States
• ital foreign words, words for words, meaning of words, sound effects
• scripture is LC when it refers to verses or holy texts; it is capped when it is a direct substitute for “the Bible”
• use space-dot method for ellipses
• we’ll use the Oxford comma
• no indents on first line of chapter, section, or following a space break per CMS
(… and so on)

PERMISSIONS NEEDED
• Joe Smith
• Mary White
(… I made up these names, of course)

VERSIONS CITED
ESV
NIV
NKJV

WORDS
12-gauge
9/11
armchair
best seller (n.)
best-selling
bin Laden (note LC)
brokenhearted
check mark (n.)
churchgoers
Christlike
coworkers
e-mail
faultfinding
firsthand
(… and on and on)

The style guide helps me too. A 300-page manuscript can take days to work through (copyediting is intense, detailed work; professional organizations recommend working no more than six hours in a day at it, at which time one should switch gears and work on something else entirely). When I come back to a project after an absence of hours or days (it happens sometimes), the style guide is a record of every editorial decision I’ve made and assures I’ll be consistent in my corrections.

If you’re an author, the style guide lets you know the editor’s done her job, and gives you a jumping-off point for discussions about style or editorial decisions. Wonder why I kept taking the hyphens out of words like non-stop and adding them to mindset? Check the word list before you correct me: they’re actually spelled nonstop and mind-set. There should be few questions that a look over the style guide won’t answer.

Consistency is the watchword. Whether we hew closely to Chicago, use an alternate style set by the publishing house (though often you’ll see verbiage like “Use Chicago except in the case of …”), or even make a few executive decisions, the most important thing is uniformity across the entire manuscript. I find this process—adding words to the list, deciding how we’ll treat foreign words or references to decades (the Eighties? or the ’80s?) or industry jargon—very fulfilling. It satisfies my need for order in the chaos of editing.

* I’m talking about nonfiction here. We’ll discuss the needs of a fiction style guide in the next post.

 

Tweet: Check the word list before you correct me!
Tweet: The style guide satisfies my need for order in the chaos of editing.
Tweet: A style guide is a record of every editorial decision & assures I’ll be consistent in corrections.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted in Your Editor Says … | Tagged as: , , , , , ,

Short Saturday: Errors in Logic

I grew up arguing … er, discussing … politics (and history, and all sorts of things, really) at the dinner table. And both my parents had gone to big-city high schools in the era when courses like Latin and (more importantly for this discussion) philosophy (logic, critical thinking) were taught* as a matter of course—were required—so these discussions, as you might imagine, were some doozies.

Given the contentiousness (and general stupidity) we see in public discourse these days, I think the teaching of critical thinking must have gone the way of the dodo bird. And since we’ve just been talking about errors in logic, I thought you’d enjoy thisOpen Culture has pulled together several videos that discuss common logical fallacies:

Moving the Goal Posts Fallacy
The Fallacy Fallacy
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
Strawman Fallacy
Ad Hominem Fallacy
Black and White Fallacy
The Authority Fallacy
“No True Scotsman” Fallacy

Each video is a little over two minutes long and presented as something you can send to a fallacy offender. I’ll leave that up to you. :)

*Home ec was a requirement back then as well. It could stand to come back around too.

 

Tweet: I was taught logical thinking in grammar school. Were you?
Tweet: Strawman? Ad Hominem? Texas Sharpshooter? A primer on logical fallacies.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted in Uncategorized |

Study This: The Vacationers

Once upon a time there was

… a bunch of people on vacation, all with different expectations and worries and agendas. And The Vacationers—which I read, interestingly, on a winter vacation—tells the story of each of them.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve read anything written before, oh, the 1960s, say, and since I really enjoy contemporary literature, it took me a while to recognize what I saw in Emma Straub’s The Vacationers.

But there it was: omniscient POV. You know what I mean: an all-knowing narrative voice that has access to the thoughts of the characters (the main ones, anyway); you often see it in stories that begin with the words Once upon a time there was

And it’s making a comeback.

I rarely see it in my editing, and it’s been a long time since I read or cared to read the classics (Austen, Tolstoy, Dickens—all wrote in omniscient). So it took me awhile to recognize what I was seeing.

In fact, I second-guessed myself. Then I found this: Straub was interviewed on Brooklyn Based, an online magazine that covers the Brooklyn scene (she and her husband and son live in Brooklyn). Perfect. And the subject came up:

BB: You handle point-of-view (POV) deftly in this book, slipping back and forth between each character’s vantage point, sometimes in the span of just a couple of sentences. As a reader it really gave me the sense of seeing the full picture; it was almost filmic. How did you land on this approach and why? Did you use any other books as templates?

ES: I did, a bit—I was really inspired by Elizabeth Von Arnim’s Enchanted April, which is an NYRB Classic. I love that feeling, of slipping in and out of everyone’s head. It makes it feel more convivial, I think, which was what I was after. And as to how I landed on it—yeesh, trial and error, for sure. I really did want it to be everyone’s story—Franny and Jim and Sylvia and Bobby in particular. So I had to jump around.

BB: POV is something a lot of novice writers struggle with. Do you have any advice? Any breakthrough moments you care to share?

ES: See above! Trial and error! It’s the only way! My advice, really, is to start with the voice you think is right, and if you change your mind, then change the voice. Don’t go backward, always go forward! You can fix the beginning in the next draft. In this regard it helps to be a very messy person. My husband is very neat and would rather die than write a novel that way, if he wrote novels. But I don’t mind a mess.

There’s more to be studied in The Vacationers, of course. Characterization, for example. Working in that omniscient POV, Straub wasn’t afraid to let us see everything about these characters—their foibles, their stupid mistakes, their unlikeable characteristics—that a less experienced writer might have tried to sugarcoat. She wasn’t afraid to let us dislike them for a while. But this POV also let us see their kindnesses, their vulnerabilities, their hurts and problems that seemed insurmountable.

Writing standards and styles come and go. In recent decades perspective has been the desired mode of POV, whether as first person, limited third, alternating viewpoints as in a romance. Omniscient has been considered old-fashioned—perhaps because it tends to distance the reader from the emotional immediacy of a story told from perspective, settling instead for a dispassionate narrator. Not to mention all that telling.

The Vacationers, though, is far from old-fashioned! It’s fresh and funny and insightful. And it has something to study. Overall, consider these things:

• POV
• character arc
• pacing

Normally I’d include an illustrative sample, but it would require too long a piece to show the moving POV, so here’s a link instead. Enjoy!

Tweet: Once upon a time there was … a study in omniscient POV.
Tweet: It’s been a long, long time since I’ve read anything written in omniscient POV.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted in The Writing Craft | Tagged as: , , , ,

We Now Resume Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

If you were here last week, you know I’ve changed my subscriber distribution system from the on-its-last-legs Feedburner to MailChimp. If you’re a subscriber, I believe you got that post a week ago Monday.

However, it’s come to my attention that you did not get the next post—Thursday’s “Sampling Marilynne Robinson.” Nor did you get the Short Saturday post, or yesterday’s “Begging the Penultimate Question.”

These are all good articles (even if I do say so myself), and I want you to have them. Also, I want to test the system, since we think we’ve solved the problem. :) Leave me a comment, anywhere, and let me know, eh?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted in Miscellany | Tagged as: ,

Begging the Penultimate Question

I have some bad news for you. You’ve been using that phrase wrong. I’ve had friends and colleagues use it wrong—in writing—and I have bitten my tongue, because, as you know, I am not a corrector unless I’ve been asked to be one.

But I recently read it in Roxane Gay’s excellent (and moving) collection of essays, Bad Feminist, and she’s faculty at Purdue University’s MFA program in creative writing. So when it’s gone that far, kids, we need to talk.

Begs the question. It’s a term that refers to logic, and in laymen’s terms it means—as we used to say when I was a kid—What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

Grammar Girl says:

Here’s an example of a simple argument that begs the question. This one just restates the conclusion as a basis for the conclusion: Chocolate is healthful because it’s good for you. That begs the question. How do you know chocolate is good for you? Again, the question is What’s the support for your premise? or What does that have to do with anything? If I didn’t just accept that chocolate is healthful, I’m not going to accept that it’s healthful because you say it’s good for me. They’re the same thing. Make a better argument.

Begs the question. What it does not mean:

• It raises the question
• It begs that the obvious question be asked
• It evades the question
• It makes me wonder

What it does mean:

• Your argument lacks support
• Your premise and your conclusion aren’t logically related
• You’re just restating your conclusion

Shocking, isn’t it.

Here’s another one for you: penultimate. I cannot count the number of times I have seen people use this word incorrectly. People who should have checked before they put it in a blog post, for example.

Penultimate. Do you know what it means? Here’s what it doesn’t mean:

• More ultimate than ultimate
• Really, really special

So what does it mean?

• Next to the last

If there are forty chapters in your manuscript, chapter 39 is the penultimate chapter. Check your dictionary: the prefix pene- means almost. Got it?

I bring these things up because I know you’d want to know. :) We all get some things wrong at some point. It’s how we learn, even the most experienced wordies among us.

So don’t feel bad if you’ve misused these. It raises the prescriptivist/descriptivist question, doesn’t it? Descriptivists believe the validity of a phrase or a word is ultimately defined by usage. If most people use words or phrases a certain way, then that constitutes valid use.

Right? Like hopefully. And meme. And hack. And begging the question and penultimate. It may be that these words ultimately change their meanings.

But I say don’t throw out the red pencil yet.

Tweet: We all get things wrong. It’s how we learn, even the most experienced wordies.
Tweet: I have some bad news for you. You’ve been using that phrase wrong.
Tweet: Begging the penultimate question!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted in Words & Language, Your Editor Says … | Tagged as: , , , , ,

Short Saturday: The Magic Bookstore

“The small independent bookstore is coming back,” Ann Patchett says, and has said, often. In “The Bookstore Strikes Back” (The Atlantic, 28 November 2012), she describes a place you’ve probably been in yourself:

The bookstore of my youth was Mills. My sister and I used to walk there every day after school, stopping first to check out the puppies in the pet shop across the street, then going on to admire the glossy covers of the Kristin Lavransdatter series, which is what girls read after they finished Little House on the Prairie and its sequels back before the Twilight books were written. Mills could not have been more than 700 square feet, and the people who worked there remembered who you were and what you read, even if you were 10.

I’ve been in that very bookstore—in California, where I grew up; in Dublin, where the Irishman grew up; in the sleepy college town I live in now. I seek out those very bookstores in every city I visit.

You’ve been there, too, so you know the magic to be found therein. This little video made the rounds a while back, but it’s delightful—and every time I watch it I’m overwhelmed by the amount of work it must have taken.

Enjoy this! And tell me—do you have a favorite bookstore?

Tweet: The magic you can find in a bookstore.
Tweet: I seek out those small, special bookstores in every city I visit.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted in Miscellany | Tagged as: , ,

Sampling Marilynne Robinson

I’m reading Lila, Marilynne Robinson’s third book set in the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa. The first, of course, was Gilead—winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award—and is the late-in-life ruminations of the Reverend John Ames.

Gosh, I loved that book. And now I’m loving Lila, which explains the origins of Ames’s second wife, who was raised in a transient lifestyle during the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression. Lila has trust and abandonment issues due to her damaged childhood, but we see her slowly falling in love with—and beginning to trust—this man who is twice her age. In this passage, she’s been out for a walk and decides to surprise her husband in his office at the church. The year is 1949 or ’50.

But when she did go to his office he wasn’t there. Of course he wouldn’t be hiding from her, but that was the first thought she had. The room just felt like he should be in it. The whole church felt that way. People who live in rooms and houses don’t know about that. It seems natural to them. You might pick up something belonging to somebody and feel for a minute how theirs it is, particularly if you hate them enough. But a whole roomful of somebody’s days and thoughts and breath, things that are faded and they don’t see it, ugly and they don’t care, things worn by their habits, it seems strange to walk in on that when you’re almost nothing more than a cold wind. She did wish she could at least find a way to tell him how hard it was, the ache you feel walking out of a cold day into a warm room. And here she was angry at him for being somewhere else, almost crying about it. Because here was his whole long life and it had nothing to do with her unless he was there with her to say, This is Lila, Lila Ames, my wife.

Well, she thought, standing here worrying about it doesn’t make much sense. He’ll be at the house. …

He wasn’t there, either. The house was empty. Probably someone had died, or was about to die. Plenty of times he was called away to do what he could where comforting was needed. The last time it happened he came in the door at midnight, grumbling to himself. He said, “Asking a man to apologize on his deathbed for the abject and total disappointment he was in life! That does beat all.” He took off his hat. “So I took them aside, the family. And I said, If you’re not Christian people, then what am I doing here? And if you are, you’d better start acting like it. Words to that effect.” He looked at her. “I know I was harsh. But the poor old devil could hardly get his breath, let alone give his side of things. There were tears in his eyes!” He hung up his coat. “I’ve known him my whole life. He wasn’t worse than average. Wouldn’t matter if he was.” And then he said, “You shouldn’t have waited up for me, Lila. The two of you need your sleep,” and he kissed her cheek and went up to his study to pray over the regret he felt because he’d lost his temper. Anger was his besetting sin, he said. He was always praying about it. She had thought, If that’s the worst of it, I’ll be all right.

This woman can flat write, friends, and even though I’m not including this in my Study This series—because, quite frankly, I don’t have it in me to deconstruct or analyze or review Marilynne Robinson; she doesn’t need me, anyway—you should read it.

Here’s why. I’d intended just to give you this excerpt in a Short Saturday post, yet as I transcribed* just this little bit, I saw so many beautiful uses of craft. So I changed course and will, at least, bring your attention to the novel’s use of:

• Themes
• POV

If you’ve ever wondered about how to employ theme in your work, consider what Robinson does with the concepts of alienation, abandonment, trust, belonging (or not belonging); for thematic symbolism (that is, metaphor), watch for babies and children, blood and water. Watch for that knife, too; observe how beautifully she places Chekhov’s Gun (er, knife).

And the POV! Oh, my goodness. It’s that very tight, limited third person—every single bit of the story is seen through Lila’s own eyes. Note how her insecurities show, how her fondness shows, how her past is revealed (Lila didn’t grow up living in “rooms and houses”); look how easily she moves from past to present, almost in a stream of consciousness sort of way, messy, like the inside of your head is. :) (The Times’s reviewer completely missed it, and yes, I am gloating. The New Yorker’s reviewer, on the other hand, knew what she saw when she saw it.) It’s perfect.

I have often said—and you know this yourself—if you want to write well, you must read well. You must read the good stuff—literature that will expose you to technique and artistry. This is one you might read.

* This is an example of why writing teachers tell you to transcribe—to copy out—passages you really enjoy or connect with: it’s an in-depth analyzation that no one needs to explain for you. Something magic happens between fingers and brain, and you’ll grok it as you copy. Try it.

 

Tweet: Sampling Marilynne Robinson. Man, she’s good.
Tweet: Lila: As I transcribed just this little bit, I saw so many beautiful uses of craft.
Tweet: If you want to write well, you must read well. This is one you might read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted in Books You Might Like | Tagged as: , , ,

Taking Care of Business

Up until yesterday, I used Feedburner software to distribute my blog posts to email and RSS subscribers. This has been problematic: the company was acquired by Google a few years ago, and Google quit supporting the app. No updates, no tech support.

The writing’s been on the wall. One by one, Feedburner has become unable to interface with feed readers and aggregators; my subscriber number once grew steadily but now it declines steadily. Longtime subscribers have contacted me to let me know they are no longer getting my posts.

Something had to be done.

And it has. I’ve switched to MailChimp. Email subscribers were migrated, but I have no idea, really, if it was a complete list. My apologies if Feedburner kicked you to the curb!

Will you help me make a complete list? I’d like to have you as a subscriber—and I’ve got something special just for subscribers, just for the next six weeks: The #CrankyEditor’s Top 10 Raves & Rants.*

(Because, c’mon, you know you love the rants.)

Sign up for an email subscription, and I’ll send you a .pdf you can hang on the wall. If you’re already a subscriber—THANKS—I’ll send you one too.** Sign up today!

* I’ll send the subscription gift on 30 May—my birthday!

** You can double-check: try to subscribe. If you’re already signed up, you’ll get an error message.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted in Miscellany | Tagged as:

Short Saturday: Good-Bye to “Hello”

You know I love to talk about getting the details right in your novel, so when I read A. A. Gill’s lovely essay in Vanity Fair, I knew I had to share. “We are coming to the end of the age of the telephone call,” he says, “and that may be a good thing or a bad thing, but it is a thing.”

It is indeed. It’s history in the making, and knowing when to use these details is what makes your fiction ring true. Think about it!

For more than a century, the telephone was the punctuation of life. The stage device that concerns love, or its passing, that was a Sunday filial duty, a confirmation of old friendships. A telephone call had gravitas, social importance; calls were memorable. You called because you had something to say and that became the stuff of drama. The phone was the great plot device of theater—it took the role that had been vacated by Shakespeare’s missive-bearing messengers or the Greek chorus channeling fate and the gods—and even film and music: the fatal call; the kidnapper’s call; the president’s hotline; Glenn Miller’s Pennsylvania 6–5000, the most famous phone number in all music; Dial “M” for murder; Blondie in the phone booth, the one across the hall.

In Richard Linklater’s 1995 film, Before Sunrise, the two lovers, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, sit in a booth in a café sharing an imaginary phone conversation of charmed humor with a great deal of 18-karat sentiment and love. … I just watched the film again and I realized that no one is ever again going to make that pinkie-to-the-mouth thumb-to-the-ear sign across the room at me for “I’ll call you.” What are we going to do? Jab our fingers at each other?*

Many of you know I’ve been reading and appreciating essays of late, and Gill—who appears regularly in Vanity Fair—is a master of the form. This one offers nostalgia, humor, and commentary on the art of human communication. You’ll enjoy it.

* Be sure to follow the link to check out the (ahem) “updated” image from the movie His Girl Friday. :)

 

Tweet: Knowing when to use these details is what makes your fiction ring true.
Tweet: “Hello?” With the advent of texting, the telephone assumes a new role.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted in Miscellany | Tagged as: , , ,

My Thoughts on Austin Kleon’s Thoughts on Reading

My friend Amy sent me this link. Because, hello, books.

I like this guy Austin Kleon. He writes things I wish I’d written myself. Or that I’d like to imitate (sincerest form of flattery, yada yada). I think part of it is my fascination with narrative lists, which Kleon seems to share. In this particular list, Kleon is having a moment with books and reading. :)

Well. I’ve been having that moment my whole life. :)

And while I realize that maybe I’m spoiling it—as art—by explicating it, I couldn’t resist adding my commentary to the first four items.

1 I will make time for reading, the way I make time for meals, or brushing my teeth.
Kleon’s not talking about how you study a sacred text for fifteen minutes before dawn, or those professional journals you need to keep current in your job. He means extracurricular reading.

When I was young, I read at bedtime to make myself sleepy. Now that I’m old I have no trouble falling asleep, but reading is (almost always) the last thing I do before lights out. For you it may be after the kids are in bed, or in that lull following lunch, or on the treadmill at the gym, or … whenever. Having a routine, in this case, is useful to accomplishing the goal.

2 I will make an effort to carry a book with me at all times.
I don’t ever want to find myself in a doctor’s waiting room with thirty minutes of prime daylight reading time and no book, so this is a habit I formed decades ago. But if you haven’t developed the behavior, it’s really simple nowadays: you pick up your phone before you leave the house, don’t you? Memory-peg book to phone and you’ll pick up a book (or magazine) too. I put my book in my purse, but you men can just install the Kindle app on your smartphone. I never-in-a-million-years thought I’d read a book on my iPhone but I’ve read more than one that way now, and it’s delightful. Try it.

3 I will read whatever interests me. I will read novels. I will read poems. I will read essays. I will read short stories. I will read memoirs. I will read magazines. I will read newspapers. I will read comic books. I will read self-help. I will read street signs. I will read ads. I will read instruction manuals. I will read old love letters. Etc.
If you’re only reading one genre, you’re doing it wrong. Just sayin’. :)

4 I will read whatever the hell I feel like. No guilty pleasures.
Seems to contradict, doesn’t it? But he means nothing is beneath you. Not middle grade fiction, not romance, not a self-published e-book. (Unless it’s dreck. See numbers 8 and 9.)

Go on, read the list. Read it again. It’s a good one. And by the way, talk to me about number 18. Are you tracking the books you’ve read? If you aren’t, you should try it; you might find it rewarding. I certainly have.

I have my own book/reading absolutes too:

34 I will give books on every possible gift-giving opportunity.

35 I will organize my bookshelves in such a way that I can (almost) always find the book I’m looking for.

36 I will recommend books to my husband.

37 I will check out my favorite books from the library, just to make sure they aren’t culled for space.

38 I will attend book festivals; I will mingle with other bookies. I will tell authors that I love their work.

Do you have something to add to the list? Leave me a comment!

Tweet: In which I add 5 thoughts to Austin Kleon’s 33 Thoughts on Reading.
Tweet: I like this guy! He writes things I wish I’d written myself.
Tweet: If you’re only reading one genre, you’re doing it wrong. Just sayin’. :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted in Miscellany | Tagged as: , , , ,