What’s on Your Bookshelf? Must-Have Resource Books for Authors
These are my “can’t live without” books for writing. To make your life easier, I’ve linked to their page on Amazon.com so you can just buy them with a click.
A dictionary (A GOOD dictionary)
Mine is a Webster’s and it was what I asked for from my grandmother when I graduated from high school. Now, before you point out that there’s an app for that (or a website or a widget or a thingymabob) there’s a REASON I still have an honest to goodness dictionary sitting on my shelf. When you look up a word for its correct spelling, definition or usage in a digital format you get exactly what you’re looking for and nothing else. When you look it up in a paper dictionary, you get to read all the other words that are on the page! And those other words always spark ideas.
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I have two: the matching Webster’s to my dictionary and a really cool one by Roget’s called the Super Thesaurus. Of course you can look up synonyms and antonyms online, and even click to be taken to definition of any word you don’t recognize, there’s still something to be said for the ideas sparked by the orderly row of words on the page.
I got this for writing poetry actually but keep it around because there’s something powerful and magical when you’re writing sales copy and you’re able to weave in slant rhyme or alliteration. It takes us back to our childhood, makes us feel safe, and makes me want to buy!
Words That Sell & MORE Words That Sell
Both by Richard Bayan.
It’s all there in the title: Words That Sell and MORE Words That Sell! The reason I recommend this in print is because it’s been my experience that reference books like this one just don’t work digitally. I discovered that buying a verb book for Italian. Sure it SEEMS like the hyperlinks work but they don’t always. Just get it in paper! PLUS you can dog ear your favorite pages!
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
By Marie Kondo
Why a book on de-cluttering in my resource list? This book reminds me that life is about what I keep—those things that spark joy—and not about what I discard. I also keep this book around because it reminds me that a seemingly “insignificant” or “niche” message can have profound and far-reaching impact on the world. (Your message matters!)