Publication Date: September 4th, 2018
Publisher: Baker Books
Page Count: 160
Why I Picked It Up: I'm on the book tour! Many thanks to the I'd Rather Be Reading Launch Team for giving me early access to a free copy of the book!
Synopsis: From Amazon-
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.
Opening Sentence: "'Can you recommend a great book?'"
My Thoughts: This was a delight. Full disclosure though- at this point, I'm going to pick up anything Anne Bogel writes because I'm such a fan of her blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy. (I also love to support bloggers who branch out into other forms of media). I'll admit when I first read the premise I was skeptical- how in the world can you write a book about reading?
Happily, now I know. I'd Rather Be Reading is a love letter to books and reading in the form of essays. It's a slim book with a gorgeous cover- it's a watercolor of Anne's actual home library- and it touches on Anne's own reading life, problems only bookworms can relate to, formative years of reading, and what it means to be a reader. One of my favorite chapters focuses specifically on the acknowledgement page in books, the authors' words that come after the story is finished. In the acknowledgements, authors thank any number of people for their help in creating the book. These words are often thoughtful, funny, heartfelt, and inspirational, yet they're also often skipped! That part made me want to take to my own shelves and see what I have been missing.
Another section that made me want to take to my shelves was the chapter on "How to Organize Your Bookshelf". Believe it or not, bookshelf organization is a hot topic among the book blogger and bookstagram community. (Rainbow shelves forever!)
Because the book is relatively short, I thought I would fly through this. And you certainly could. But part of the fun of reading this, for me, was how nostalgic it made me. It made me think about my early reading life, those weekly trips to the library with my mom, browsing the stacks and the thrill I felt when completing my summer reading log to get the free ticket to Six Flags Great America, and all of those authors I grew up on. (Sweet Valley High, Babysitters Club, and Goosebumps, anyone?) I found myself savoring and being inspired by these chapters.
Most of all, this book made me appreciate how privileged I am to be able to enjoy reading. Being a voracious reader is a part of my identity and I'm thankful that I grew up in a household that emphasized reading and that I had access to books. Reading this made me think about why it is I love reading so much, and made me want to continue my plans to read more widely and with purpose.
All in all, this book made me feel seen. Theres are stories that readers will "get", and to be honest it's unlike anything I've read before. It brought a smile to my face and it's something that can be read in one sitting or in little bits.
So why read a book about reading? Because it's nice to think back upon the characters and stories that helped shape the person I am today.
Just don't forget to read the acknowledgement.
Favorite Quote: (from the Bookworm Problems chapter): "Your pile on the stack in your passenger seat, and your car yells at you because it thinks you have an unbuckled passenger."
TL:DR: This will make the book obsessed feel seen and understood, and it will make any reader want to reminiscence about their own reading history. It would also make a wonderful gift!
There is still time to preorder! If you order before September 4th, you will get some exclusive preorder goodies. You can purchase the book from anywhere- Amazon, your local indie, Book Depository- and still get the bonuses! Bonuses include a free digital download of the audiobook, access to Anne's class "7 ways to get more out of your reading life", and digital artwork from the book. If you order two or more, you also get a signed book plate, bookmark, postcard print from the book, and bookish stickers. Details about the extras and ordering here!
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