Reading the great quotations, the thesaurus, or anything else that features vivid expression is valuable advice. It almost makes up for the book's two fatal flaws. First, "Elements" is jokey, sophomoric, and superficial in too many places. Second, the book's main prescriptions are neither summarized for ready reference nor linked to any underlying principles of good composition. Strunk & White's "Elements of Style" is more systematic and a better choice for my money.