The other day while contemplating what to write for the Mad ones, while shelving the last bits of my library on new (to me) bookshelves, I pulled a book off the shelf and put it on my desk as a reminder to myself. It was joined by friends, because I spent a pleasurable time on Friday shopping for books. You see, I have a brief moment in time where I own more bookshelf space than books. That, and I was a bad woman. I found out friend and editor D. Jason Fleming had not yet been to the three-story sprawling antique mall in our small city, so I took him there to show him the booths full of books. Muahahaha! Ahem. We had fun. Must do that again. It is great fun to shop with a fellow bibliophile.
The book I’d intended to highlight in this post is a 1935 college text by John T. Frederick and Leo L. Ward, titled Reading for Writing: Studies in Substance and Form. As you can see with the opening paragraph above, it’s purpose was to provide models of good writing to the students.
I had intended, when I first thought about writing this post, to link a Project Gutenberg version of the book for those who wanted to explore it deeply. Sadly, it doesn’t exist. PG focuses on more popular books, so I think a lot of texts get left behind.
However, this is a very old example. What would you include in a modern up-to-date version? What writing is a shining example that you have learned from, or that you would recommend to students of writing? I like the idea of surrounding myself (quite literally, as I look around my office) with good books. Of course, simple proximity is not enough. I must also read them!