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Twitter tells me to "read like a writer"

Earlier this week, as I watched hundreds of tweets sink and disappear into the bottom of my computer screen, there was one tweet that, like some movie in which a beautiful girl walks into a room, I could not take my eyes off of. The Twitter stream slowed down for a single moment, long enough for me to catch a quick glimpse of it. Then, in an instant, it was gone. The Cindarella of tweets, I guess, it had disappeared but would not leave my mind. A link to something about reading like a writer.

I read.

I write. 

What information outside of that did I need to know? What untapped streams of knowledge would this link lead to?

Without realizing that Twitter has a really excellent search feature for cases like this, I turned immediately to the shining glory of all-knowingness that we call Google. (If only Prince Charming had been so lucky, right?) 

Although Google didn't lead me to the actual tweeted link (I figured it out eventually), my quest led me to something amazing: a book.

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them

by Francine Prose 

(Her name really says a lot about her, I guess.)

Have you read this? I took a peek at it briefly, via the ever-handy Google Books, and after 18 pages (6 of which were hidden), I was completely sold on my need for the author's advice. I rushed right over to my iPad and with two quick taps of my finger the book was bought and paid for. That iPad is a miracle machine.

I worry sometimes that buying books about writing when you're a writer is akin to buying self-help books about trying to love your body if you're a woman. That stuff can't be taught

But here's the thing, it's not about writing. It's about reading – which CAN be taught.

Although this is the first of Francine Prose's books (of which she has many) that I've seen, I'm already exceptionally impressed with her wordsmithery. This makes me especially excited to read what she has to say about writing.

As much as I want to gush and gush and gush about how awesome the book is, I should probably slow my roll. I've only just begun. Still, I haven't been so excited to gain new insights into grammar and sentence structure since Woe is I.

I'm looking for awesome quotes from Prose's book to put in this post, but I just keep stopping to read. Oh man! She's dissecting passages from works by Flannery O'Connor to see why they are so good. Squeeeeee!

Have you read this? Do you know anything about it? Do you want to read it? Can we be reading buddies?

Courtney Algeo is a werewolf, and is pretty sure that Francine Prose would look down upon writing things at the last minute

Why Craft Books and I Are Not Friends

In which Courtney takes some links out of her pockets and scatters them across the floor