Tyler Shores

13 Flips | 2 Magazines | 2 Following | 2 Followers | @tylershores | Writer, Reader, Lover of all things books and publishing.

Reading Together Even While Reading Alone

I probably shouldn’t admit that I keep an Excel spreadsheet to track what books I’ve read in a given year. The file spans seventeen years, a book …

How To Organize A Bookshelf

<b>Listen · 4:24</b><p><b>Toggle more options</b><p><b>Download</b>• <b><br>Transcript</b><p>Chances are, many of us will own a few more books after the holidays. But even if the books you have are carefully stored and cataloged, where do you put new ones?<p>We asked a few listeners how they organize their book collections. And there is no one …

The Best Illustrations from 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland

On July 4, 1862, English mathematician and logician Charles Dodgson boarded a small boat with a few friends. Among them was a little girl named Alice Liddell. To entertain her and her sisters as they floated down the river between Oxford and Godstow, Dodgson fancied a whimsical story, which he’d …

Nietzsche’s 10 Rules for Writers, Penned in a Letter to His Lover and Muse

More than a century before Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing inspired similar sets of commandments by Neil Gaiman, Zadie Smith, and Margaret Atwood, one of humanity’s greatest minds did precisely that. Between August 8 and August 24 of 1882, <b>Friedrich Nietzsche</b> set down ten stylistic rules of …

“Don’t Read Books!” A 12th-Century Zen Poem

We live in a culture that often romanticizes books as the tender and exhilarating love-making to the “orgasm without release” of Alan Watts’s admonition against our media gluttony — an antidote to the frantic multitasking of modern media, refuge from the alleged evils of technology, an invitation …

The Psychology of Writing and the Cognitive Science of the Perfect Daily Routine

Reflecting on the ritualization of creativity, Bukowski famously scoffed that “air and light and time and space have nothing to do with.” Samuel Johnson similarly contended that “a man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it.” And yet some of history’s most successful and …

Celebrated Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary

<i>“You want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you,”</i> Madeleine L’Engle counseled in her advice to aspiring writers. W.H. Auden once described his journal as <i>“a discipline for [his] laziness and lack of observation.”</i><p>Journaling, I believe, is a …

Theodor Adorno on the Art of Punctuation

Mary Oliver once joked — perhaps semi-seriously, as is the poet’s prerogative — that each writer has a finite lifetime quota of punctuation, which should be used judiciously to shepherd language into as much elegant submission as the writer is capable of. But half a century earlier, in 1956, the …

Zadie Smith on the Psychology of the Two Types of Writers

On March 24, 2008, two years before she penned her oft-cited ten rules of writing, the immeasurably brilliant <b>Zadie Smith</b> delivered a lecture at Columbia University’s Writing Program under the brief “to speak about some aspect of your craft.” Appropriately titled “That Crafty Feeling” and included …

George Orwell on Writing and the Four Questions Great Writers Must Ask Themselves

George Orwell was a man of unflinching idealism who made no apologies for making his convictions clear, be they about the ethics of journalism, the universal motives of writing, or the golden rules for making tea — but never more so than in his now-legendary essay “Politics and the English …

The Psychology of Cryptomnesia: How We Unconsciously Plagiarize Existing Ideas

<i>“Any experience the writer has ever suffered,”</i> William Faulkner told a university audience in 1958, <i>“is going to influence what he does, and that is not only what he’s read, but the music he’s heard, the pictures he’s seen.”</i> This notion — that “our” ideas are the combinatorial product of all kinds …

The Sense of Style: Psycholinguist Steven Pinker on the Art and Science of Beautiful Writing

<i>“Man has an instinctive tendency to speak, as we see in the babble of our young children,”</i> Charles Darwin wrote in <i>The Descent of Man</i>, <i>“whereas no child has an instinctive tendency to bake, brew, or write.”</i> While baking and brewing undoubtedly have their place in culture, it is writing that has …

Someone Reading a Book is a Sign of Order in the World

If you’re lucky, on a few occasions in your lifetime you will come upon an author in whose writing you experience a rare kind of homecoming, a spiritual embrace. For me, such singular homecomings have taken place in the arms of only a handful of writers — to wit, Virginia Woolf, Ursula K. Le Guin, …