10 Best Books on Writing Every Writer Must Read

Do you love writing? Are you looking for read and tested books on writing? Are you craving for writing tips from the greatest authors of our time? Here are some best books on writing from my shelf that I’ve read and found helpful over the years. I share them with you with the single aim that you don’t waste precious time searching for them, but invest it in reading them. These books deserve to be on your shelf because unlike fiction novels, you will end up reading these books time and again. Remember, if you wish to buy them, just click on the links. So, let’s go.

Zen in the Art of Writing

In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and excitement of a lifetime of writing. Here are practical tips on the art of writing from a master of the craft—everything from finding original ideas to developing your own voice and style—as well as the inside story of Bradbury’s own remarkable career as a prolific author of novels, stories, poems, films, and plays. Zen in the Art of Writing is more than just a how-to manual for the would-be writer: it is a celebration of the act of writing itself that will delight, impassion, and inspire the writer in you. Bradbury encourages us to follow the unique path of our instincts and enthusiasms to the place where our inner genius dwells, and he shows that success as a writer depends on how well you know one subject: your own life.

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How to be a Writer

How to be a Writer is peppered with nuggets of practical advice for every person who is aspiring to write and be published, all told in Ruskin Bond’s characteristic understated, tongue-in-cheek, humorous style. So, what is it that a person requires the most to become a writer? A love of books, of language, of life, an observant eye and a good memory along with enthusiasm, optimism and persistence.

This book is an exclusive glimpse into the writing credo of Ruskin Bond, an author who has had an incredibly successful writing career spanning over seventy years.

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Art Matters

Neil Gaiman once said that ‘the world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before’. This little book is the embodiment of that vision. Drawn together from speeches, poems and creative manifestos, Art Matters explores how reading, imagining and creating can change the world, and will be inspirational to young and old.

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The Elements of Style

You know the authors’ names. You recognize the title. You’ve probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book’s unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. 

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On Writing

Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 — and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it — fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

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Earnest Hemingway on Writing

Throughout Hemingway’s career as a writer, he maintained that it was bad luck to talk about writing—that it takes off “whatever butterflies have on their wings and the arrangement of hawk’s feathers if you show it or talk about it.” This book contains Hemingway’s reflections on the nature of the writer and on elements of the writer’s life, including specific and helpful advice to writers on the craft of writing, work habits, and discipline. The Hemingway personality comes through in general wisdom, wit, humor, and insight, and in his insistence on the integrity of the writer and of the profession itself.

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Bird by Bird

With this basic instruction always in mind, Anne Lamott returns to offer us a new gift: a step-by-step guide on how to write and on how to manage the writer’s life. From “Getting Started,’ with “Short Assignments,” through “Shitty First Drafts,” “Character,” “Plot,” “Dialogue.” all the way from “False Starts” to “How Do You Know When You’re Done?” Lamott encourages, instructs, and inspires. She discusses “Writers Block,” “Writing Groups,” and “Publication.” Bracingly honest, she is also one of the funniest people alive.

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Literary Taste

Literary Taste, which has a sub-title “how to form it, with detailed instructions for collecting a complete library of English Literarure”, came into that category, and was a very successful publication. More than 100 years after it first appeared (in 1909) it will seem rather quaint, but there is much of value in it, and, bearing in mind that much good and great literary work has been produced in modern times, it is still worth a study. Remember it is a book that pointed the way for the generation of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers!

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Writing for Pleasure and Profit

Brimming with useful advice and tips, this guide to writing warns against common pitfalls and teaches you how to adopt a professional attitude towards your work. Chapters cover such aspects of writing as the novel, short stories, non-fiction, articles, poetry, plays, radio and television scripts—even children’s books. A detailed look at how to prepare a typescript, where and how to submit it and a discussion on the rewards of writing conclude this invaluable book. Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced writer, you will enjoy Michael Legat’s lively anecdotes and down-to-earth approach.

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Reading Like a Writer

In her entertaining and edifying New York Times bestseller, acclaimed author Francine Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters to discover why their work has endured. Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart – to take pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Philip Roth and the breathtaking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; she is deeply moved by the brilliant characterization in George Eliot’s Middlemarch. She looks to John Le Carré for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue and to Flannery O’Connor for the cunning use of the telling detail. And, most important, Prose cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which all literature is crafted.

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Question of the Day

Which are your favorite books on writing? Have you read any of them?
Do share your thoughts below.