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I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

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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 an 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.


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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 an 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.

30 review for I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

  1. 3 out of 5

    Lauren

    Readers, listen up. This book is a hot beverage & a cozy blanket on a chilly evening, or a cold glass of sweet tea on a summer’s day. It is Bag End to Frodo Baggins. It is delighted gasps, mhmmm’s, giggles, “I never thought of that!”s, & “I do that too!”s. It is the perfect gift for a fellow reader or the perfect comfort read for a Tuesday. (Or any other time ending in “day”.) Pick this one up ASAP & spend a minute with a kindred spirit. You won’t regret it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

    A delightful collection of book-ish essays by Anne. I related so hard to all of the musings about being a reader, about book addictions, hoarding books, canceling plans to finish a read, etc. Anne is a lovely person who has written a beautiful little book that you should definitely go read and then buy a copy for the reader in your life.

  3. 3 out of 5

    Kate Olson

    (I received a free copy of this book as a member of the launch team). This book is an absolute delight. It’s a beautiful small volume of essays about books and reading and is something every avid reader will want to read and savor. And if you are looking for a gift idea for a bookish friend in your life, what an amazing choice this book would be! This book made me laugh so hard I cried, and then it flipped and made me cry for real. I related to every single word and will definitely be re-reading (I received a free copy of this book as a member of the launch team). This book is an absolute delight. It’s a beautiful small volume of essays about books and reading and is something every avid reader will want to read and savor. And if you are looking for a gift idea for a bookish friend in your life, what an amazing choice this book would be! This book made me laugh so hard I cried, and then it flipped and made me cry for real. I related to every single word and will definitely be re-reading it again and again - it has definitely earned a place on my forever shelf.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    Book Lovers’ Delight: I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel “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.” The audiobook for Anne Bogel's I'd Rather Be Reading, read by the author, was the perfect companion to a day filled with cooking mea Book Lovers’ Delight: I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel “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.” The audiobook for Anne Bogel's I'd Rather Be Reading, read by the author, was the perfect companion to a day filled with cooking meals and cleaning my room. It's lighthearted and a breeze to listen to; I sped through like eight chapters without even noticing. (Chapter: “A Reader’s Coming of Age”) I'd Rather Be Reading is a collection full of spectacular, talkative essays that chronicle and accentuate the simple things in books make us love in them. Bogel's love for books shines so sincerely in her writing. Her bookish enthusiasm reminded me of why I read in the first place. “Not out of habit or duty, but because reading is part of who they are. It’s in their blood. They’re book people.” This book also reminded me of the human connection I feel after reading a good Nonfiction essay collection, which I haven't experienced in a hot minute. Surprisingly, it also brings back memories on all those books that made up your life one by one. The ones that changed the game by making you love reading, the ones that you hate to love and love to hate, the funny books, the childhood favorites, and so many more that came to shape the person you are today. There's a love letter to the library next door. Taking the hint when a book arrives at the right time in your life when it seeks you out. Living out her bookseller dreams for a day (and the odd requests received). Being "book bossy" and the treacherous ground of unsolicited advice that accompanies recommending people (especially her kids) what to read. The beauty of rereading a book, which reminded me of a podcast I listened to that hosted BookTuber Ariel Bissett, who talked more in detail on why rereading matters: We read to find books we love and want to revisit. Coming of age with books and rereading them years late makes you see and uncover different things each time. They're like photographs, taking you back to the exact moment in time when and where you read. “Rereading can make you remember who you used to be, and, like pencil marks on a door frame, show you how much you’ve changed. ” Other goodies include a full chapter on Bookworm Problems. The hidden pleasures in reading the acknowledgments and sharing some of the favorite last page excerpts from books the author has read. “I’m a reader who always wondered what the writing life was like, and not knowing the details, supplied my own—” “But in the acknowledgments, the authors hint at the practicalities of writing books, brass-tacks details that might otherwise never occur to readers.” I enjoy reading the acknowledgments at the end as well because it makes for a less abrupt switch of mindset between reading and not reading. It also grants me the time to part peacefully from the book, like having trailers after the movie to prepare me for the exit. Also: “I especially enjoy stumbling across miscellaneous goodies and oddities, the things an author can’t include anywhere else” In short: I'd Rather Be Reading capture the truth of our bookish experience in bite-size chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day. Lastly, I have to mention this brilliant idea the author had on getting her hand on her library records. These records show so much of our timeline; our history through our bookish finds. It would be an ineffable experience. “Based on my borrowed titles alone, I’d be able to clearly see the months and years I spent away from my hometown, the one I’m happy to live in even now. I would be able to spot the summer I got engaged, when I checked out every book on wedding planning in the library system. The month I learned I was pregnant and immediately cleared the shelves of those books. The sudden surge of board book checkouts a year later, after we’d added another tiny reader to our household. It’s all right there, in my library records.” Among the many noteworthy book recommendations, I'm already on my way to my local library to browse their book shelves. Oh, and, of course, the on theme black-and-white illustrations scattered throughout the book were a joy to look at: (Chapter: “Windows to the Soul”) (Chapter: “Confess Your Literary Sins”) (Chapter: "Book Bossy") Get this beauty of a book through my Amazon Affiliate: I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel . I’ll make a small commission! Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with Ko-fi.com/bookspoils This review and more can be found on my blog.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diane Barnes

    Another book about books for my shelf. Like talking to a good friend about "book nerd problems".

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jami Balmet

    I’m a little torn on this one. Really I think I would give this a 3.5. I enjoyed the chapters (the first half probably more) and found myself nodding along a lot as a fellow bookish girl. But after getting to the end of the book, I felt it was a little dull. I love and cherish books and I love encouragement for reading more...but the book gave little else. I thought she would go into HOW to pick the right books for you, tips she’s learned from picking books for dozens of people on her podcast, e I’m a little torn on this one. Really I think I would give this a 3.5. I enjoyed the chapters (the first half probably more) and found myself nodding along a lot as a fellow bookish girl. But after getting to the end of the book, I felt it was a little dull. I love and cherish books and I love encouragement for reading more...but the book gave little else. I thought she would go into HOW to pick the right books for you, tips she’s learned from picking books for dozens of people on her podcast, etc. This book is definitely a gift book. It was a light, enjoyable read but not a cherished favorite or anything. If you are wanting a more in depth and practical book on the topic, I highly recommend Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)

    Thank you to Baker Books for my free copy! Full review originally published at: https://topshelftext.org/topshelftext... Anne Bogel, creator of Modern Mrs. Darcy and the What Should I Read Next? podcast, writes thoughtfully and beautifully on what it means to be a reader. In I'd Rather Be Reading, Anne writes about everything from how to organize your bookshelves, to being book bossy (I am so guilty, by the way), and classic bookworm problems. Just the other day as I drove home from the library, m Thank you to Baker Books for my free copy! Full review originally published at: https://topshelftext.org/topshelftext... Anne Bogel, creator of Modern Mrs. Darcy and the What Should I Read Next? podcast, writes thoughtfully and beautifully on what it means to be a reader. In I'd Rather Be Reading, Anne writes about everything from how to organize your bookshelves, to being book bossy (I am so guilty, by the way), and classic bookworm problems. Just the other day as I drove home from the library, my car began to beep because the weight of my books was heavy enough to necessitate a seatbelt. I laughed because Anne wrote about this very problem and I knew she (and many of you) would understand. Anne writes in a way that confirms what many of us (her friends and fans) already know: that there are countless kindred spirits out there who also would rather be reading. This book feels like a wink and a nod to all of us. I'm honored to put another one of Anne's books on my friends and family shelf.

  8. 5 out of 5

    RuthAnn

    This collection of essays is charming and chatty, and I will definitely give it as a gift in the future. I nodded along as I read - lots of "me, too!" reactions along the way. I have to imagine that any bookish person will feel similarly. It's a bit of preaching to the choir, but readers gonna read, so it's all good. The only reason I'm not effusive about this book is that, as a regular reader of Modern Mrs. Darcy and listener to the What Should I Read Next podcast, the concepts here felt pretty This collection of essays is charming and chatty, and I will definitely give it as a gift in the future. I nodded along as I read - lots of "me, too!" reactions along the way. I have to imagine that any bookish person will feel similarly. It's a bit of preaching to the choir, but readers gonna read, so it's all good. The only reason I'm not effusive about this book is that, as a regular reader of Modern Mrs. Darcy and listener to the What Should I Read Next podcast, the concepts here felt pretty familiar. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, but the cumulative effect didn't knock my socks off. But then, why do we go to coffee with friends or set up book clubs? Not necessarily to knock our socks off. This book is comforting and friendly, and you will probably enjoy it, so go ahead and read it. My favorite essays were: The Books That Find You My Inner Circle Book Bossy The Readers I Have Been Again, For the First Time

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    Having finished the book, the one question I had in mind was “What was the point of this book?” Nothing I haven’t already read in perhaps hundreds of lengthy articles and quirky blog posts of my favourite bookish people, and even then, from one link to another, I felt more connected and got more in-depth approaches to almost every imaginable bookish problem than this collection of vignettes evokes. To quote the author: “Did I just choose to spend four hours of my life on this?” Granted, it was an Having finished the book, the one question I had in mind was “What was the point of this book?” Nothing I haven’t already read in perhaps hundreds of lengthy articles and quirky blog posts of my favourite bookish people, and even then, from one link to another, I felt more connected and got more in-depth approaches to almost every imaginable bookish problem than this collection of vignettes evokes. To quote the author: “Did I just choose to spend four hours of my life on this?” Granted, it was an hour, but still... Not what I was expecting! Although it is true that 9 times out of 10 I would rather be reading than do anything else, I wouldn’t go as far as to shove my bookish pretentiousness in my friends’ faces. Unless you follow me on GR you don’t know what I’m reading or how many books I manage to finish in a year, and unless you specifically ask me whether I would recommend this or that title, I don’t wear flashy signs with “You have to read this!” or “I’m a book nerd, hear me roar flip the pages of my current read! It is awesome!” More than disappointed, I was annoyed... This might be a useful book for a younger reader. 1.5 stars

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    Oh, you guys. You guys. If you are a constant reader, you need this book. I've seriously never felt so seen.  As you know, reading is primarily a solitary thing. You probably have actively literate friend or are in a book club (or multiple book clubs) but generally it's you and a book. Or you and books, plural, if you're like my friend Bekki and have multiple books going at once. But this book is for us. As I write this, I'm in the middle of an especially book-filled weekend. I watched To All the Oh, you guys. You guys. If you are a constant reader, you need this book. I've seriously never felt so seen.  As you know, reading is primarily a solitary thing. You probably have actively literate friend or are in a book club (or multiple book clubs) but generally it's you and a book. Or you and books, plural, if you're like my friend Bekki and have multiple books going at once. But this book is for us. As I write this, I'm in the middle of an especially book-filled weekend. I watched To All the Boys I've Loved Before (based on a Jenny Han book; I loved both). I had book club (we read I Capture the Castle) and later today, I'm seeing Crazy Rich Asians (I haven't read the book yet, but I have it and I plan to). And, best of all, I read this book.  It doesn't all apply to me but enough of it does that I had a thrill of recognition over and over. For example, I don't really go to the library that much. I did both years when I was a Cybils judge, but usually I get books for my Kindle (either for review or purchased). One of my best local friends, Julia, gets almost all her books from the library and I always think "Oh that's a good idea; I should start doing that" but I very rarely do. And there's a part where Anne describes having a talk with her mom about how her dad has so many books and her mom has a shelf and her mom says, "Your dad grew up going to be the bookstore; I grew up going to the library. We haven't really changed." And yes. I spent so much of my childhood in bookstores that it's probably not surprising that I still do. (Also, late fees terrify me; I blame that Stephen King novella about the library police.) If you're a reader, you need this book. Your friends who are readers ALSO need this book. It'll make you reexamine your book choices and book sorting style. This book is perfection and an absolute delight. Highly recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    My copy of I'd Rather Be Reading is a small hardcover book with a beautiful cover. Holding it and reading it was a calming experience during a very stressful week. There is nothing new or groundbreaking here - just a fellow book lover sharing her experiences and insights about reading. That's exactly what I needed and I enjoyed every page.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Kari Ann Sweeney

    Do you remember the scene in You've Got Mail when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have this conversation: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📚 Kathleen Kelly: Mr. 152 insights into my soul. Joe Fox: Oh yeah. No competing with that. 📚 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Well- it wasn’t a person, but a book. From cover to cover this absolutely delightful book is filled with insights and reflections that filled my bookish soul. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Happy release day to this gem. I received my copy as part of the launch team, but I ordered a couple more copies to give as gifts. Do you remember the scene in You've Got Mail when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have this conversation: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📚 Kathleen Kelly: Mr. 152 insights into my soul. Joe Fox: Oh yeah. No competing with that. 📚 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Well- it wasn’t a person, but a book. From cover to cover this absolutely delightful book is filled with insights and reflections that filled my bookish soul. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Happy release day to this gem. I received my copy as part of the launch team, but I ordered a couple more copies to give as gifts. I dare say it is the perfect gift for the readers in your life. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I always read the authors acknowledgements, but this was the first one that made me cry. It was just so lovely.

  13. 3 out of 5

    Jessica

    Welp, this is being added to my amazon cart right now.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Giselle Bradley

    If there is any book I have read this year that I would recommend that YOU read. It's this. If you are a reader, a book-lover, or a library user, please pick this up. It spoke to my soul like no other. I have never read something so relatable before. Anne perfectly captures what it's like to love books with such an intense passion. After I finished this I picked it up and read the whole book again cover to cover. This is the epitome of a "book for book lovers" and a "book about books". I need my If there is any book I have read this year that I would recommend that YOU read. It's this. If you are a reader, a book-lover, or a library user, please pick this up. It spoke to my soul like no other. I have never read something so relatable before. Anne perfectly captures what it's like to love books with such an intense passion. After I finished this I picked it up and read the whole book again cover to cover. This is the epitome of a "book for book lovers" and a "book about books". I need my own copy ASAP.

  15. 3 out of 5

    Linda Hutchinson

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I would be less than honest if I did not admit that the author of this sweet book is also the leader of my online book group. Anne Bogel, in addition to being a tremendous leader of readers, is also a writer. I am honored to belong to the MMD book club which has expanded my reading horizons and introduced me to amazing book friends around the world. This group has transformed my reading life tremendously. Anne’s love of the written word comes to life in her charming observations about her r ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I would be less than honest if I did not admit that the author of this sweet book is also the leader of my online book group. Anne Bogel, in addition to being a tremendous leader of readers, is also a writer. I am honored to belong to the MMD book club which has expanded my reading horizons and introduced me to amazing book friends around the world. This group has transformed my reading life tremendously. Anne’s love of the written word comes to life in her charming observations about her reading life. In some parts, I really felt like she had captured my “book soul.” As the author states, “How good it is to be among people who are reading.” It is good, indeed. #modernmrsdarcy #idratherbereading #summerstooshort #mmdbookclub #book #books #reading #read #bibliophile #booknerd #bookstagram #idratherbereading @annebogel @readbakerbooks #annebogel @whatshouldireadnext IG: @bookbimbo

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kaytee Cobb

    I love this collection. I'm not a re-reader, but I know I will pick This up to read these essays again and again. I know I will turn back to these book darted pages for smiles and comfort and sweetness and even ideas in the future. This is absolutely THE love letter to books that I've always wanted on my shelves, and this little book will be with me for the rest of my days.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Joulwan

    It's no secret that I adore Anne Bogel's podcast What Should I Read Next? so I had high expectations for this collection of essays. On her podcast, Anne is just the kind of person with whom you'd want to discuss books: opinionated but not pushy, insightful, relatable, and quick to laugh—all of that warmth and intelligence and sheer book love comes across in these essays. I read it over the course of a month or so, dipping into the essays between the other novels I was reading to cleanse my palat It's no secret that I adore Anne Bogel's podcast What Should I Read Next? so I had high expectations for this collection of essays. On her podcast, Anne is just the kind of person with whom you'd want to discuss books: opinionated but not pushy, insightful, relatable, and quick to laugh—all of that warmth and intelligence and sheer book love comes across in these essays. I read it over the course of a month or so, dipping into the essays between the other novels I was reading to cleanse my palate and to revel in the book nerdiness of reading. I sometimes have a difficult time talking about my favorite books, or even really sharing how much reading means to me as a human—it feels too personal, makes me vulnerable in a way I'm not really ready for. But reading this book made me realize that there are legions of us out there: People who find friendship, solace, adventure, challenge, grief, joy—the whole gamut of human emotions—in the books that we read. And sometimes, they're just damn fun. I'd Rather Be Reading is just like that: lots of feels and damn fun.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I loved every word of this book. Whether you prefer to be called a bookworm, booklover, booknerd, or even bibliomaniac, Bogel not only completely understands our world but is able to eloquently address all of our "first world" problems. It seemed like every few minutes I was nodding and thinking "Yup, that's me!" or "Boy, can I relate to that dilemma!" There are many passages I could quote but it would make this review way too long, so since it's a short book I'll let you have the fun of discove I loved every word of this book. Whether you prefer to be called a bookworm, booklover, booknerd, or even bibliomaniac, Bogel not only completely understands our world but is able to eloquently address all of our "first world" problems. It seemed like every few minutes I was nodding and thinking "Yup, that's me!" or "Boy, can I relate to that dilemma!" There are many passages I could quote but it would make this review way too long, so since it's a short book I'll let you have the fun of discovery. I had only one very minor quibble with the book (and this isn't the author's fault) and that is Bogel waxed poetic about bookstores (and she was also a heavy user of her local libraries), and that made me feel very sad as my city has many used bookstores but not one single new bookstore. Sometimes I yearn to wander through aisles of nothing but new books. Oh well, life could be worse. This book would be perfect for the holidays so consider buying this for any book lover you know.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anton

    Honest, genuine and utterly charming! What a delight!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel B

    1.5 stars While a few of these essays were cute, I was quite disappointed with this book overall, for several reasons. In the very first chapter, "Confess Your Literary Sins," Bogel lists various reading "secrets" and then states, "... absolution is unnecessary. These secrets aren't sins." (p 24) However, she lists benign things like "you've never read Jane Austen" right next to things like "they've read the Outlander series eight times" (Outlander is well-known for having strong sexual content) a 1.5 stars While a few of these essays were cute, I was quite disappointed with this book overall, for several reasons. In the very first chapter, "Confess Your Literary Sins," Bogel lists various reading "secrets" and then states, "... absolution is unnecessary. These secrets aren't sins." (p 24) However, she lists benign things like "you've never read Jane Austen" right next to things like "they've read the Outlander series eight times" (Outlander is well-known for having strong sexual content) and "they're addicted to firehouse romances, the kind whose covers bear rippled torsos." (p 22) While I knew going into this book that Bogel is a Christian with questionable reading habits of her own (since I've listened to several episodes of her podcast), this particular book was published by a Christian publishing company, Baker Books, and that was incredibly sad to me. The Bible has a lot to say about avoiding sexual sin and Christians being called to live lives that look differently from the lives of non-believers. In addition to the idea that we Christians can read whatever we want, and think that God has no opinion or standard for us in that matter, there was also a theme of greed and idolatry coming through in these pages. I understand that Bogel was trying to write a lighthearted, amusing book for reading lovers, but this seemed to preach an almost obsession with books and reading, taking them out of their rightful place as a good thing and elevating them to a level of worship. I don't find it funny when women joke about having hundreds of shoes that they never wear, and I don't find it any more amusing when readers laugh about having hundreds of unread books, multiple copies of the same book, and talk about book-buying (or even just reading itself) as an addiction. In addition to the moral issues that I've already mentioned, the book was repetitive and listed things that could be found in any blog post by a reader... I'm very disappointed that Baker published it and wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Reading Ladies)

    A book about books: warm, chatty, entertaining, and easy reading essays for devoted readers. Short chapters make this ideal to pick up for a few minutes of reading each day. A colorful and quaint cover makes this a charming coffee table book or a delightful gift for a reader in your life.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Rachel | mrs.bennett.reads

    "I’m grateful for my wider literary family. If we're to divide and conquer these titles, we need each other." Anne Bogel's new book is such a delight! As someone who doesn't have many people in her "real" life to talk books with, I am always hungry for bookish conversation. Reading this book felt like sitting down with a good friend to talk about my favorite subject - reading, and the reading life. I have always trusted Anne's taste and opinions that she presents on her blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, "I’m grateful for my wider literary family. If we're to divide and conquer these titles, we need each other." Anne Bogel's new book is such a delight! As someone who doesn't have many people in her "real" life to talk books with, I am always hungry for bookish conversation. Reading this book felt like sitting down with a good friend to talk about my favorite subject - reading, and the reading life. I have always trusted Anne's taste and opinions that she presents on her blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, and her podcast, What Should I Read Next, and was delighted at all of the book titles she dropped - my TBR definitely grew as I read! To me, this was the ultimate comfort read, and something I will pick up again and again when I want to read something fun and cozy. Highly recommend!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Janssen

    This was just delightful. I'm not normally an essay lover, but this one was FABULOUS. Highly recommend for any book lover.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna H

    Very relatable, fun and breezy -- great for some good book recommendations; but as much as it pains me to write a critical review of Anne Bogel's work, I have to say this is good but not great. When someone has created a really successful podcast and garnered many, many devoted followers online, hitting the right notes at the right time in conversations with guests in a way that makes the subject matter-- in this case, the reading life -- something universal, crafting a community out of the comm Very relatable, fun and breezy -- great for some good book recommendations; but as much as it pains me to write a critical review of Anne Bogel's work, I have to say this is good but not great. When someone has created a really successful podcast and garnered many, many devoted followers online, hitting the right notes at the right time in conversations with guests in a way that makes the subject matter-- in this case, the reading life -- something universal, crafting a community out of the common feelings of those who are a part of it, we may tend to think efforts in other mediums will be automatically successful. Bogel is an accomplished reader and a valuable asset to the reading life, because she understands what books mean to readers -- and her show, "What Should I Read Next" is this great vehicle to discover connections with other lovers of books. I love the conversations with the day's guest, in which she and the guest discuss reading habits, book tastes and loves and strong dis-likes of the book world -- and the reasons why story is so meaningful. The conversation between Bogel and her reader expands to include the listeners too, and you get the feeling, "Oh, that's totally me; I thought I was crazy...." I can't listen to a single episode without carefully studying the show notes and coming up with a list of at least three to five titles of books to add to my TBR. She's great at her show! In fact, Bogel is exceptional as a podcaster, particularly a podcaster in a discussion of books and reading. I have tried listening to other supposedly popular book podcasts and I couldn't make it five minutes in, because the shows and the hosts are just so awful... But Bogel gets it -- and I feel like melding broadcasting and a discussion of the printed word just is not magic everyone can make happen -- but she can. Having said that, this collection of essays suffers for a lack of fleshing out of great ideas -- she writes of intimate experiences in the reading life of herself and her family at certain points, but then expands on ideas, repeating a lot of the same concepts as she tries to make vignettes more universal - she was painstakingly personal when the essays could have used a broader POV and tried to over-simplify concepts that would have been better told with personal stories. I would have liked to see her spend a little more time developing the memoir and telling us a bit more about how her life in podcasting got started, but maybe that's just me as a super-fangirl of "What Should I Read Next." Still, I will pass this on to fellow readers because the stories in it will make them smile -- and she's never light on great recommendations.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    “I’m grateful for my one life, but I’d prefer to live a thousand.” - Anne Bogel I am an avid reader, a hardcore bibliophile, but the most wonderful thing about this lovely collection of essays is that it’s for every type of reader. Whether you pick up one or twenty books a month, it’s like sitting down with a friend for that inevitable, fun, and familiar book chat we all love so much. It touches on a bit of everything, including bookish problems, book friends, and bookshelves, along with literar “I’m grateful for my one life, but I’d prefer to live a thousand.” - Anne Bogel I am an avid reader, a hardcore bibliophile, but the most wonderful thing about this lovely collection of essays is that it’s for every type of reader. Whether you pick up one or twenty books a month, it’s like sitting down with a friend for that inevitable, fun, and familiar book chat we all love so much. It touches on a bit of everything, including bookish problems, book friends, and bookshelves, along with literary references galore and adorable black and white illustrations. Anne Bogel’s I’D RATHER BE READING is the perfect gift-able gift for any reader! And the cover is so beautiful - it looks fabulous on my coffee table!

  26. 3 out of 5

    Charlsa

    I love books that bring a smile to my face, and I'd Rather Be Reading does just that. I relate to every one of these short essays. For an avid reader this book will cause some introspection, but not TOO much, about yourself as a reader. It will remind you of both the pleasure and knowledge you have gained from books and give you some great tips. Most importantly, it will help you to appreciate the reader you have become.

  27. 3 out of 5

    Sachi Argabright

    I loved this book! It was so charming and wonderful, and I related so much to the stories told. This book will heighten your book aspirations, while adding to your TBR along the way. This slim little collection would make a perfect gift for your fellow book lover, or help you out of a reading slump. This book made me excited to read more, support my local indie bookstore, and maximize my library resources. I want to give a special shoutout to Chapter 10 | Bookworm Problems because I was able to I loved this book! It was so charming and wonderful, and I related so much to the stories told. This book will heighten your book aspirations, while adding to your TBR along the way. This slim little collection would make a perfect gift for your fellow book lover, or help you out of a reading slump. This book made me excited to read more, support my local indie bookstore, and maximize my library resources. I want to give a special shoutout to Chapter 10 | Bookworm Problems because I was able to say, “Oh wow, me too!” so many times. This book would be perfect for any book lover, and looks awesome on a shelf!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shawntaye Hopkins

    Love. I’m a huge fan of Anne Bogel, her blog (Modern Mrs. Darcy) and her podcast (What Should I Read Next?). I read this short book in one sitting. If you’re a READER, not much will surprise you here. What you will get is that feeling of SHE GETS ME in almost every essay. Also, it is a beautiful book, Insta and side table-worthy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I’m a sucker for books on books and books about reading, and have read a lot of them. Some have been bad, and many have been good, and a few have made it to my list of favorites, likely to re-read many times. I hadn’t heard of Anne Bogel, or her blog, “Modern Mrs. Darcy,” or her podcast, “What Should I Read Next?” until I saw something - either in a newspaper or social media - that mentioned her podcast. That was just a couple of weeks ago, on August 20. I found her podcast, listened to her read I’m a sucker for books on books and books about reading, and have read a lot of them. Some have been bad, and many have been good, and a few have made it to my list of favorites, likely to re-read many times. I hadn’t heard of Anne Bogel, or her blog, “Modern Mrs. Darcy,” or her podcast, “What Should I Read Next?” until I saw something - either in a newspaper or social media - that mentioned her podcast. That was just a couple of weeks ago, on August 20. I found her podcast, listened to her read the first chapter of this book, and pre-ordered two copies, one for me and one for my oldest daughter. The books arrived today and I read mine this evening. It was delightful!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Anze

    "I wouldn't be the person I am today if I weren't a reader. I don't just mean because I enjoy reading or spend so much time with my books. I mean that from an early age, and without consciously intending to, the ideas I got from books formed the interior architecture of my mind." When I see a book, I do not see a bunch of bound pages. I see a portal to a different place, a different time and even to a different dimension. I do not so much see words but images conveyed through them. I am that pers "I wouldn't be the person I am today if I weren't a reader. I don't just mean because I enjoy reading or spend so much time with my books. I mean that from an early age, and without consciously intending to, the ideas I got from books formed the interior architecture of my mind." When I see a book, I do not see a bunch of bound pages. I see a portal to a different place, a different time and even to a different dimension. I do not so much see words but images conveyed through them. I am that person in the movie theater saying "That's not how it was in the book !" (quietly, of course). There are characters that will forever be etched in my heart. I have been emotinally wrecked by a book. Reading is not a mere hobby for me. Its part of who I am. I remember reading the first Harry Potter (it was my first full length book I read on my own). My first Agatha Christie was nothing short of wonderful. Fredrik Backman is one of my favorite authors EVER. For those of us that love reading, books have conmemorated special moments in our lives. This brief but oh-so-wonderful book talks to us readers. Wether its timeless classics or those novels whose covers remain hidden if out in public, we are all part of the (reading) community and this book highlights this in a most gratifying way. I absolutely can relate to many aspects of this book. Bogel structures her chapters in a succinct but heartflet manner. The cover is georgeous. This is the perfect book for anyone that loves reading and discussing books. I love it and highly recommend it. Its a lovely experience.

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