BTT: Manual Labor


Wow. This week’s Booking Through Thursday is a stroll down memory lane…

Writing guides, grammar books, punctuation how-tos . . . do you read them? Not read them? How many writing books, grammar books, dictionaries–if any–do you have in your library?

Yeah, I’ve got them. They are leftover from my days as an MFA student and from my years as a freelance copyeditor. I looked for one of them a few weeks ago, but other than that, it’s been years since I opened any of them or did more than run my eyes over where they sit on my shelves.

Like my ice hockey gear, the pots I threw during ceramics classes and various other things around the house — the bottle of motor oil that was a promotional gift when Ministry was singing how Jesus Built My Hotrod — these are now relics of a past life.



  1. bunnygirl

    May 8, 2008 11:38 pm

    I’ve got a lot of those kinds of things myself. It’s funny what one accumulates in life.

  2. Bethanie

    May 9, 2008 8:20 am

    Ah, these would be all my theoretical linguistics books left over from the BA and the one year of grad school I endured before I quit to go rock climbing. BR/BR/Then there’s all the rock climbing books left over from the Time Before Children. BR/BR/Then there’s all the pregnancy books left over from the Time Slightly Before Children.BR/BR/And the baby books left over from when my babies were actually babies.BR/BR/And…BR/BR/Goodness. I never get rid of anything, do I??!?!

  3. Wylie Kinson

    May 9, 2008 9:27 am

    I probably have a good 20 How-To books. How to Write Romance, How to Write Erotica, guides to good grammar X 4, how to kill of characters, how to write screenplays, careers for characters, psychology for writers, etc… BR/Have I read them? Um… well… let’s just say that each got a 10 page peruse 😉

  4. Winter

    May 9, 2008 9:32 am

    When I come across stuff like that I think “Why the hell did I bother to keep that thing?” Eventually, I toss stuff now. If I haven’t bothered with it, or even remembered it, in months or years… it becomes a trash can item.

  5. marcia

    May 10, 2008 12:21 am

    I bet you’ve read Eats,Shoots, and Leaves –if not you so would love it–Thanks for your visit

  6. On a limb with Claudia

    May 10, 2008 12:48 am

    Boy… I feel a little embarrassed. I read Strunk and White about every six months or so, use my ancient thesaurus (jr. high) every single day, same for my dictionary, and I have a copy of “Easy Grammer Plus workbook” (homeschooling english book) and “Plain English Handbook” (jr. high grammar book) that lack dust as well. I couldn’t tell you now why I used the grammar books – I just do. (Ex, I have a reviewer who is a stickler for numbers/numbering, sometimes I’m checking that. My editor loves with great passion commas, so I check them. erm….)BR/BR/Well… I’ll slink away now….

  7. Susan Helene Gottfried

    May 10, 2008 9:01 am

    Oh, don’t feel bad, Claudia. If I still did copyediting, I’d use them, too. Heck, my dictionary and thesaurus are sitting to my left, on my desk. Yeah, they’re buried under stuff (what isn’t), but I know how to get to them.

  8. Bob-kat

    May 10, 2008 3:50 pm

    Kind of like my French Dictionary which I saw on a shelf the other day when I was looking for something. I’ve not used it since school. I’m hoping that my business books will also become relics if I pass my MBA!

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