I’m a longtime reader of the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog and listener of the What Should I Read Next? podcast, so I’m always interested when creator Anne Bogel releases a new book. Her latest effort, I’D RATHER BE READING, is a meta-themed book about reading.
We received a free review copy from the publisher. All opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, Lu and Bean Read will receive a commission on products purchased.

I’d Rather Be Reading Review

Bogel knows her audience. As she states in I’D RATHER BE READING, readers tend to view reading as a lifestyle, not just a hobby. She understands innately that a book isn’t just something we read, it’s something we own. Knowing this, she created a beautiful little volume that is pleasing just to look at and hold in your hands. I’m sure many readers will hold on to this book for its style alone.

Inside the hardcover are 21 essays about the trials and joys of a book-obsessed person. Having these essays all in one place is sort of like having a Pinterest board of your favorite quotes about reading and books.

Some of the essays that appealed most to me were about:

  1. How to organize your bookshelves: A perennial problem in the home of a reader, especially if kids books are also in the mix.
  2. Bookworm problems: A list of all the difficulties associated with being a bookish person. If you fret that all of your library holds will arrive at the same time, you will relate to this essay.
  3. Bookseller for a day: What reader hasn’t dreamed of owning a bookstore or simply selling books for a living? Bogel actually worked in a bookstore for a day as part of her research. I wish she’d shared even more of that experience, which she describes as more difficult than it looks.
  4. Again, for the first time: An essay about those books you wish you could read fresh for a second time. Incidentally, this is the criteria my book club uses for books we give the highest rating of five stars for a book we’ve read.

I think Bogel has improved her writing greatly since the release of her first book, READING PEOPLE. She was already a good writer, but in this book she pushed her analysis more deeply and the personal evidence she provides to support her essays feels more natural. It’s clear that she used the act of writing a book to learn how to write a book. (Note to self: I guess that’s the only way to do it!)

Fans of Modern Mrs. Darcy will love this deeper insight into Bogel’s reading life. Lovers of beautiful books will not find a more asthetically pleasing volume. People who view reading as an unpaid, part-time job will enjoy these thoughts on the bookish life.

Get the book

I’D RATHER BE READING is available today from Baker Books. Happy book birthday!

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I'd Rather Be Reading cover

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