Writers read. Good writers read voraciously. That’s because the best way to improve your craft is to study it, learning from great practitioners. I’ve had a list of favorite books about writing on the NewsLab site for years now and I still recommend those titles for your reading list. (If you want to carry them all with you, consider a Kindle!)
But if you want an even larger selection to choose from, BookRiot has just produced a list of 100 must-read books on writers and the writing life. You’ll find most of my recommended list here, plus many more. Quite a few titles focus on fiction or memoir and others take on specific genres like scriptwriting and even writing for video games. But there are several not on my list that are worth checking out. For example:
On Writing by Eudora Welty, the great American novelist.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. Yes, that Stephen King.
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by the aptly named Francine Prose.
The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner, a former editor and now a writers’ agent.
I know it’s hard to find time to read about the craft if you’re still in school, buried under required readings and assignments, or if you’re just starting out in an all-consuming job. If you have a free minute, all you want to do is veg out. Try to make the time. Your writing will get better. Honest.