Buy Books About Writing

Keep learning and sharpening your writing skills

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Here I am, at almost 9pm trying to think of a blog topic for tomorrow’s blog post.

I’m asking myself what I’d like to share with writers, what tips or advice might be helpful. But instead, all I can come up with is sharing my experience at a used bookstore.

In San Diego, there’s a store called Book Off, and for the past four years every time I’d visit my daughter who was going to college in San Diego, we’d go eat Ramen noodles nearby and then go to Book Off to browse the shelves.

Now, let me share that I own thousands of books. Every room in my house is stuffed with books, but I still can never resist finding a new book to read.

Since she graduated last summer, we haven’t been back to San Diego. But last weekend, we drove out to spend a day by the beach, and of course, we went to Book Off after lunch.

After looking through everything from fiction novels to self-help books, I found myself buying books on how to write, including a book on grammar even though I have two huge bookshelves full of books on writing.

Even though I sometimes feel I’ve read it all multiple times, every new book about the skills and art of my profession fascinates me. And I believe, no matter where you are in your career, you can always benefit from tips, advice, and inspiration.

Should writers buy books on writing or simply read more within their genre?

The answer is yes! Do both. If you want to write romance, read romances. If you want to write suspenseful thrillers, read suspense novels. Poet? Literary fiction? Non-fiction books on finance? Whatever your interest, if you hope to write well, you need to read extensively in that genre.

Yes, I do have two bookshelves full of books on how to write, but I have twice as many romance and women’s fiction novels.

Reading within your niche teaches you about the style, flow, plot devices, etc. in that genre, and prepares you write your own book. As you read, you are studying or at least noticing how other writers are putting together their stories. I reached a point where I knew exactly…