Ive just finished reading a small book called Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home, by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe. Ill probably write a larger post in the next several days about email in general in reflection on the book, but I wanted to just quickly post a recommendation. This book is a quick, but worthwhile, read.
Send contains plenty of interesting NYTimes-column-esque factoids that contextualize email in the larger history of business and personal correspondence, as well as provides some advice as to how to do a better job using email. I began reading Send with the idea that I had mastered email. After all, its what I spend the majority of my day doing. However, I quickly realized that there were many ways that I could improve. One of the large themes in the book is that senders often take for granted what information their email recipients will know. Consequently, the email itself ends up being quite inadequate and unhelpful to both sender and recipient. The authors recommend over an over again taking the extra time to ensure that an email is comprehensive and clear, rather than always prioritizing speed. Other topics they discuss include the anatomy of an email, different types of email (asking, answering, informing, thanking, apologizing, and connecting), emotional email, etc.
The authors have even set up a website for the book that includes a blog and some email horror stories.