I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel
2018 Baker Books
Finished on November 23, 2019
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
For so many people, reading isn't just a hobby or a way to pass the time--it's a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can't imagine life without them.
I'd Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.
The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone's life, I'd Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover.
Over the years, I have read and enjoyed many books about bookstores, books and reading: Ex Libris (Anne Fadiman), Dear Fahrenheit 451 (Annie Spence), 84, Charing Cross Road (Helene Hanff), The Book That Matters Most (Ann Hood), The End of Your Life Book Club (Will Schwalbe), Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading (Maureen Corrigan), So Many Books, So Little Time (Sara Nelson) and Book Lust (Nancy Pearl), to name just a few. Most recently, Ann Hood's gem, Morningstar: Growing Up with Books had me nodding my head and reaching for my Post-It flags to mark favorite passages. Bogel's slim collection of essays had me doing the same and didn't disappoint.
You're looking for a book that reminds you why you read in the first place. One written well and that will feel like it was written just for you--one that will make you think about things in a new way, or feel things you didn't expect a book to make you feel, or see things in a new light. A book you won't want to put down, whose characters you don't want to tell good-bye. A book you will close feeling satisfied and grateful, thinking, Now, that was a good one.and
A good book allows me to step into another world, to experience people and places and situations foreign to my own day-to-day existence. I love experiencing the new, the novel, the otherwise impossible--especially when I can do it from my own comfy chair.and
Books draw us deeply into the lives of others, showing us the world through someone else's eyes, page after page. They take us to new and exciting places while meeting us right where we are, whisking us away to walk by the Seine or through a Saharan desert or down a Manhattan sidewalk.and
Your To Be Read list holds 8,972 titles, and you want to read every one. Your TBR list is unquestionably too long to finish before you die. Your TBR list is longer than your arm, but you still can't decide what to read next. You have countless unread books at home, yet you feel like you have nothing to read. You have countless unread books at home, but the only book you're in the mood to read won't be published for six more weeks. You have countless unread books at home, but you can't resist buying one more.and
There's something about glimpsing, and especially handling, a book from long ago that takes me right back to where I was when I first read it. The book triggers memories of why I picked it up, how it made me feel, what was going on in my life at the time, transporting me so thoroughly that, for a moment, I feel like I'm there once again.and
Bookish enthusiasm is contagious, but it isn't sufficient--not if I want to find the books that are truly right for me, and for you to find the ones that are right for you. It's easy enough for me to say, I liked that book," or "I didn't," but I often struggle to explain why. I'm constantly surprised at how difficult it is to articulate my thoughts on what I've read in a way that is coherent, useful, and enjoyable, whether I'm sharing a five-thousand-word formal review or a twenty-word text message. But I feel I owe it to my fellow readers to try, because my comments help others decide what is worth reading and what should be read next.and
We are readers. Books grace our shelves and fill our homes with beauty; they dwell in our minds and occupy our thoughts. Books prompt us to spend pleasant hours alone and connect us with fellow readers. They invite us to escape into their pages for an afternoon, and they inspire us to reimagine our lives. Good reading journals provide glimpses of how we've spent our days, and they tell the story of our lives.
I'd Rather Be Reading is the perfect gift for any bibliophile on your Christmas list. Be sure to order a copy for yourself, too!