I’d Rather Be Reading – Anne Bogel Book Review

This was a fairly short book and considering that at 112 pages, 10% is just the introduction, I wasn’t expecting to be met with a life-changing story or at least one to provide some insight in my own thinking like “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”

I haven’t been blown away but I can’t say I hated it either. It’s short and would have been better suited to a series of blog posts rather than a published artefact. Maybe I got it wrong and I’m blooking at a blook (a book based on a blog!).

The book does start with a sentence everyone has heard at least once, due to the quality or absence of books they’ve been or haven’t been reading.

“Can you recommend a good book?”

While the answer might be purely subjective based on the tastes of the reader (mine are mostly inclined towards horror and fantasy with a dash of sci-fi in between), the author does find an answer about what makes a great book:

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 .

It’s truly the personal tastes that make a book great. The individual themes that speak to the reader, the situations, the people.

When we talk about reading, we often focus on the books themselves, but so much of the reading life is about the reader as an active participant.

I loved the tips on how to organize your bookshelves and how to donate any books that don’t fit well with the rest to a local “Little Free Library“. Every bookworm needs to be conscious on how to arrange their favourite books – either by spine colour, by series or by author.

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There is an entire chapter dedicated to books people should read (either by own will or recommendation from friends). The chapter that I liked best were the problems that a bookworm might experience, ranging from terrible movie adaptations to starting a book and finding out it’s the third or fourth in an instalment or finishing a book on a cliffhanger and finding out the resolution is yet to be written/published.

(We all know “The Winds of Winter” is yet to be published!)

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You finally persuade your friend to read your lifetime favorite book. She gives it three stars. You persuade your husband to read one of your favorites. He pronounces it “fine.”

The author then explains that a proper bookworm would feel the need to interject if someone is praising a book they’ve hated. But tastes differ and people like different things. She then talks about reading habits and ways to track what you’ve read. She had a friend who listed the books (title & author) and date read in a journal and she had kept it for more than 20 years. Other readers go to goodreads and maintain lists or keep a diary with characters and quotes. Other people (*cough*) blog about it.

Every reader’s journal is its own sort of amazing. What reader wouldn’t want their own?

Reading books and logging it is almost like keeping a vacation scrapbook and helps readers give better recommendation to their friends when somebody asks the magic question at the start of the book.

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 of our lives.

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We are readers. Books are an essential part of our lives and of our life stories. For us, reading isn’t just a hobby or a pastime; it’s a lifestyle.

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