On Reading – Also, this summer feels way too short

I’ve been trying to read this summer. Not just read several pages at random intervals or skim several pages of a book. It’s been a while since I actually sat down and read for a good half an hour – and textbooks don’t count.

I have been reading about reading, and about writing. I am currently reading “On Writing Well”, written by William Zinsser. It’s a great book about writing with a great message. The book centers around the argument that most writing is unnecessarily complicated.

The life-changing message of ‘On Writing Well’ is: simplify your language and thereby find your humanity.

Especially in law, business, and some academic fields, writing is full of jargon and paragraphs are convoluted.

I can’t agree with his point more. My writing used to be complex, and full of large and overly grandiose words. Looking back now, I would say my writing was poor. Writing is a tool to communicate ideas. There is no need to be unnecessarily dense with language and if something can be said in one sentence, use one sentence.

I’m glad I happened to find this book. It’s given me a lot of new insights and thoughts about writing. Definitely one of the best, if not the best, books on writing that I’ve read.


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