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When I was a kid, my mother always had a pantry full of special foods and/or our home canned fruits and pickles. They were there in case of blizzards or unexpected guests who stayed for a meal. My daughter still has a memory of going to get goodies out of her grandmother's pantry, which she thought was a pretty neat place.

Good ideas often inspire all kinds of derivatives. For me, this means that not only do I have a food pantry but I also have created my own book pantry. If you visit my office, or living room you will find a stack of books that are in the process of being read or are ready to put on the bookshelf. And I have bookshelves full of books that qualify for a book pantry. These books are "old friends" worthy of another read. These are books that I return to over and over again. They sustain me through snowstorms and times in my life when I find myself wanting to revisit a book that brought me joy, insight or knowledge.

Here are a few of the books in my pantry that have to do with the writing life:

Dictionaries: I have quite few of them. I have on hand one by my computer to check besides checking my computer dictionary. There is also an old Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary. I use these dictionaries to look at how word usage has changed over time.

Other writing books:

Becoming A Writer by Dorothea Brande, 1934. She calls forth "the inner writer". She was ahead of her time with how the brain works when one writes.

If You Want to Write, Brenda Ueland, 1938. This is a book on the process of writing.

The Forest for the Trees, Betsy Lerner. The subtitle of Editors Advice for Writers says it all.

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