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11 Books to Read to Improve Your Vocabulary

By hwa_cognate | Publish On: June 18, 2020 | Posted In:

Books are the best resources if you want to build, improve, or expand your vocabulary. Vocabulary is one of the most important tools for communication. Whether you are a student or an adult, you can always work on your vocabulary skills to get your ideas across, ace exams, and demonstrate your mastery of the English language.

If you want to expand the database of your vocabulary, here are the best books to read.

books on improving vocabulary

11 Best Books for Improving Your Vocabulary

The Dictionary

Dictionary is the best place to start if you want to improve your vocabulary. It is one of the best books to help you build your vocabulary because it contains all the recognized words in the English language. Find a dictionary that fits your learning style, then start memorizing words and definitions.

the dictionary

The Thesaurus

A Thesaurus is a book that has synonyms and antonyms for different words. If you are familiar with the synonyms and antonyms, you can find different ways to say words and phrases. If you like to start with a Thesaurus, look for the one which gives you word definitions with the synonyms and antonyms.


504 Absolutely Essential Words

If you are looking to learn the most important words to speak English fluently, 504 Absolutely Essential Words by Murray Bromberg, Julius Liebb, and Arthur Traiger is the best one for you. This book has 42 lessons, each containing 12 new vocabulary words. It contains definitions of the words along with sample paragraphs and a variety of exercises for the reader to complete.

504 absolutely essential words

Build Your Vocabulary Skills

Build Your Vocabulary Skills: A Quick and Easy Method by John LaCarna feature a mnemonic technique called the keyword method to help readers memorize over 1,400 vocabulary words commonly found on the GRE and SAT tests. Apply this method for learning more vocabulary words from other books.

build your vocabulary skills

The Vocabulary Builder Workbook

The Vocabulary Builder Workbook by Chris Lele is one of the best books if you want to improve your writing and speaking skills. The author of this book is a test-prep expert and its workbook helps you identify root words and make associations between roots and a variety of words. The lessons in this book harder progressively to help you grow and has 1,400 common ACT, SAT, and GRE vocabulary words through vocabulary activities.

the vocabulary builder workbook

Word Power Made Easy

Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis was originally published in 1949 and was revised in 2014 because it is still one of the leading vocabulary books available. What this book does is that it assesses your current vocabulary and then advises you on areas where you need to build. It covers the etymology of words and teaches the reader how to use the root of words to decipher the meaning of new words. At the end of each chapter, you will find a quiz so that you can discern how well you are learning.

word power made easy

The Elements of Style

Authored by William Stunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style is a classic guide to writing in English. It contains sections on how to properly use different forms of words as well as commonly misused words or expressions. It serves more than a grammar and style manual. Once you get hold of this book, you can go beyond learning new words and start learning how to properly use words by following a set of rules.

the elements of style

Webster’s New Explorer Vocabulary Skill Builder

Merriam-Webster, Inc. is well-known for its dictionaries. It is the oldest producer of dictionaries in America. The book Webster’s New Explorer Vocabulary Skill Builder is designed to teach you about 200 Latin and Greek root words from which the most common English words in use today are derived.  You will be able to understand the meaning of new words you come across easily by understanding the root words. It also has quizzes after every two roots and periodic tests that cover the last seven to eight roots.

Webster’s New Explorer Vocabulary Skill Builder

The Meaning of Everything

Isn’t it fun learning how the biggest vocabulary resources, dictionaries were created? It is more interesting to know about the people who created them and how. The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester has narrative stories by which you’ll learn about word etymology and some secrets about words that didn’t make into the dictionary.

The Meaning of Everything

Word by Word

Lexicographer Kory Stamper used to work at Merriam-Webster and after that she shared her insider information about how dictionaries are created in her book Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries. This book tells a story about what’s right and what’s wrong in creating dictionaries and analyzing vocabulary. It also explores word pronunciation and etymology to help you build your vocabulary.

word by word

The Harry Potter Series

Who doesn’t know the immensely popular Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling. Kids and even adults love to read these books. Novels also can actually help improve your vocabulary. One of the facts of Harry Potter is that the names of spells, people and places often stem from Latin roots and describe the very thing they are meant to name. Knowing the Latin roots can help you better understand the meaning of other similar words.

harry potter

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