Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I'd Rather be Reading by Anne Bogel

I know I always loved to read. I know books and reading them are very important to me. Bogel has helped me understand why. She looks at the personal nature of reading, how it shapes us, what we bring to the experience, why we choose the books we do, why we connect with some so powerfully. I rejoice that I even had the rewarding experience of owning a bookstore for decades. My major complaint was that I sold many more books than I could read.

Books are opportunities beckoning us, Bogel says. (83/1580). Like her, I could go places, be someone else, experience different cultures – all from my reading chair. Like her, I believe in bibliotherapy. Give me a good book and I am happy in my world.

I had never thought about being book bossy, giving someone a book I thought they should like or I thought should make them feel better. Yikes. I've done that. But we are individuals. Just because the book meant so much to me does not mean it will have anything like the same effect on you.

I really appreciate her essays on how reading shapes us into the people we are today. I would not be who I am today nor think the way I do without having read the books I have. I agreed with her essay that identified reading as a solitary act and a favorite introvert-coping strategy (yes!) but was dismayed just a bit when she said reading was a social act (well, I am in a reading group). (1362/1580)

Missing from the book was anything about book reviewing. Publishers frequently rely on communities of public relation companies and volunteer book reviewers. Where I used to recommend books over a counter, now I do it through blogging book reviews. Also, Bogel writes as a print book reader, with book shelves and stacks of books. What about the world of ebooks?

My favorite quote from the book: “Your house is a disaster because a clean house is a sign of a misspent life, and you spend yours reading.” (662/1580)

I recommend this book to readers, to book people. You know who you are. You're the ones who can't pass up a good book about reading books.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Anne Bogel writes frequently about books on her popular blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy. She launched her podcast, What Should I Read Next? in 2016. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and four children.

Baker Books, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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