We have just over a week left in our month-long series of books for writers, and today I’m bringing out the big guns: The Chicago Manual of Style (affiliate link). The latest edition is the 16th, published in 2010. If you are a serious writer, you need to own it, or at least know exactly where your library keeps their copy. They also have a great website and you can buy an online subscription.
The CMS isn’t for light reading. It’s 1,026 pages of rules and guidelines. My most-used section is the index, so I can find exactly what I need to know for a specific issue. I also use their website forum to help answer questions. Almost every editing job I have requires me to open up the CMS and learn something new. Which I actually think is pretty fun.