I'd Rather Be Reading

Readers, yesterday was a special day. One of my favorite literary-lifestyle leaders, Anne Bogel, released her latest book I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life.

I was on the launch team for I'd Rather Be Reading and received an advance copy. It's so exciting to finally share it with you!

I’d Rather Be Reading is a collection of essays for the reading people among us, an ode to readers and a love letter to the literary life.

As you become a self-described bookworm, you realize that there are plenty of other book lovers like you. Anne is one of my favorite writers and readers, and I am grateful to have found her as a literary mentor. As the author of the blog Modern Mrs Darcy, the podcast What Should I Read Next, and the book Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lense of Personality Changes Everything, she is the number-one person I turn to for reading recommendations.

In I'd Rather Be Reading, Anne's stories propel you to reminisce about all of the books, writers and characters who shaped the person you are today. She inspires you to reorganize your bookshelves and to think back on all of your past reading lives.

Getting personal, Anne also challenges you to think about your own literary sins. As Anne says, "Reader, whatever secret you're keeping, it's time to spill it."

A Confession

In the spirit of literary sins and in celebration of "I'd Rather Be Reading," I have a confession to share with you - a deep, dark secret from my own past reading life.

Are you ready?

Deep breath.

Okay, here goes...

I haven't always been a bookworm.

Yes, you read that correctly. There is a long, guilty gap in my reading life that still makes me cringe.

I was sitting in my San Francisco apartment one day when it hit me. I truly couldn’t remember the last time I read an actual book.

Sure, I read a lot for college and grad school and loved to flip through magazines, but I genuinely couldn’t recall the last non-required book I read.

“What happened?” I thought.

My body still recalls the twinges of pain, shock, and sadness I felt at that very moment.

I love to read.

Or rather, I loved to read.

Growing up, reading was one of my favorite pastimes. My mom kept adding more bookshelves than would fit into our small home because my book collection was out of hand.

Fiction. Memoirs. Classic novels. Technical books on singing and acting. I read it all.

But now? I hadn’t picked up an actual book in who-knows-how-long. Was it last year? Two years ago? College? Senior year of high school?

I honestly couldn’t remember.

And that terrified me.

I made an immediate vow to be a self-proclaimed reader for the rest of my life. I decided to read voraciously from then on. This was partly to make up for all the time I forgot to read and partly because I realized that reading was truly important to me. If I valued it, I knew that I needed to make time for it.

And so I started reading again.

I read on kindle, and listened on audible, and recently fell back in love with physical books.

Now I read in my room and at the beach and on the subway and in the park. I read the latest fiction bestsellers, business books, memoirs of my favorite artists, and hard-to-find books on craft. I read in the morning, at night and anytime I can find a spare moment in between.

I continually refine my reading life, but most of all I love that I now have a reading life.

For all of you bookworms out there, I'm now and forever with you. While I love a summer barbecue, a fall football game and a festive holiday party, on most days I'd rather be reading.

Reader, do you have a literary sin? Spill the beans in the comments below!