Book Cover - Book Review: The Chicago Manual of Style

Since its initial publication in 1906, The Chicago Manual of Style has become one of the most widely used standards for American English. Its contribution to the vast literature landscape is probably bigger than we can imagine. Many other style guides like the Google documentation style guide cite it as a reference. It’s an important book, for authors, publishers, and even readers.

The Chicago Manual of Style documents the thousands of rules that make books feel familiar and avoid confusion when reading them. It allows us, readers, to focus on the content and get the most out of it.

I read the book sequentially (skimming over some sections in the second half), and I enjoy reading it, but it’s mainly a reference book to keep close to your desk when writing. If you have a question about a styling option, you’ll find the answer. The book is perfectly organized and makes it easy to navigate inside. Explanations are clear, concise and richly illustrated with examples.

The Chicago Manual of Style isn’t a book I will recommend often. But if you like writing, you must at least open it to apprehend its richness. I now better understand all of these rules I learned unconsciously by reading a lot of books. There are many interesting points and historical explanations for the curious reader or aspiring writer.

About the author

Julien Sobczak works as a software developer for Scaleway, a French cloud provider. He is a passionate reader who likes to see the world differently to measure the extent of his ignorance. His main areas of interest are productivity (doing less and better), human potential, and everything that contributes in being a better person (including a better dad and a better developer).

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