The venerable Mark Twain (source: Wiki Commons).
Writing well is undeniably a product of reading well. Knowing what stuff to read, however, can prove a significant and laborious task on its own. And once we do find some good literature, we have to drop an Andrew Jackson or two for just the soft back edition.
No more. I present Project Gutenberg:
Our books are free in the United States because their copyright has expired.Free book texts. Free ebooks. Free audio recordings of classics.
Have a hankerin' for some satire and southern accents? Try a little Mark Twain. Wondering what you should call Ishmael? Let someone read the answer to you. Want to find out what was bothering Hamlet? Bill has the answers, and they're free. I dare you to read a little, and then to stop. It is impossible. Bill spun words like a potter:
What art thou, that usurp’st this time of night,Project Gutenberg not only offers books for free, but it offers great books for free. Because they can only upload books with expired copyrights, these tend to be old books (100 years old, at least); and because there are zillions of possible books they could on the site, only the BEST and GREATEST literature tends to make it. In other words, they only carry the good stuff.
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? By heaven I charge thee, speak!
Go to Gutenberg and get some smarts.
To write like Alexander Pope -- which is to sing, mock, or accuse like Alexander Pope -- we must read some Alexander Pope:
How happy is the blameless Vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot:
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resign'd...
Bradley Woodrum also writes for Homebody and Woman and Cubs Stats and enjoys reading anything Mark, Herman, or Bill wrote.